93 companies signed up to UKOM common currency

Almost 100 companies are already accessing UKOM data to measure online audiences, with 31 UK agencies and 31 UK publishers signed up.


According to UKOM, 93 companies are accessing the UKOM common currency data less than six months after its official launch (nma 10 February 2010), despite a delay in rolling out the final product.

James Smythe, UKOM general manager, said the final interface is almost ready to launch and UKOM expects all major agencies to be signed up and the product ready by the second half of the year.

“The delays are part and parcel of creating something to JIC standards,” he said. “The subscriptions are there and the proportion of spend the agencies represent is huge. The only one unsigned is Group M but we understand it’s joining imminently.”

UKOM launched in January after selecting Nielsen to provide a panel-based measure directly comparable to offline metrics such as BARB.

Meanwhile, web measurement firm ComScore launched a hybrid service, which is also being used by agencies to measure web audiences.

Alex Tait, chair of the Digital Action Group at advertiser trade body ISBA and digital sales and marketing manager at The Post Office, is confident advertisers, their agencies and media owners will start to add UKOM results to their media planning.

“We soft-launched to give media owners a chance to digest and communicate their numbers first,” he said. “Members can now start to encourage their agencies to use UKOM in communications planning, ready for when an improved interface and analysis software are available.”

But Matt Simpson, head of digital at OMD Group and IPA digital group chair, said, “The industry will find it hard to recognise UKOM as a standard until it has a new interface. However, we didn’t expect it to gain traction until the second half of the year, yet it’s beginning to be used by agencies to justify placements on plans.”

This week UKOM revealed data about how UK users spend their time online, with social networks now accounting for 23% of UK internet time, compared with 9% in 2007.

People spend most of their online time social networking and blogging, followed by emailing and gaming.

Alex Burmaster, online communications director at Nielsen, said, “Social media is now part of everyday life, but that has only arisen in the past year or so.”

According to UKOM, the popularity of social networks has come mainly at the detriment of instant messaging, which has seen a 66% drop in share of online time. Time spent online has also fallen for classifieds and search.

The decline in time spent searching is in line with ad spend predictions from Forrester, which predicts search will grow at a much slower rate than display, although it expects both to increase over the next four years.

According to Forrester, search spend grew by 15% and display by 1% in 2009, but it expects search’s growth to level off while display will pick up due to increasing spend in rich formats and video advertising.

This story first appeared on newmediaage.co.uk



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