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comScore is an American global media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to many of the world's largest enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers


  • 1 History
  • 2 Data collection and reporting
  • 3 Unified Digital Measurement
  • 4 Campaign measurement
  • 5 Criticism
  • 6 Awards
  • 7 Competitors and alliances
  • 8 See also
  • 9 References
  • 10 External links


ComScore Networks was founded in July 1999 in Reston, Virginia The company was co-founded by Gian Fulgoni, who was for many years the CEO of market research company Information Resources, Inc IRI and Magid Abraham, who was also an ex-IRI employee and had served as President of IRI in the mid-1990s

Magid and Gian came up with the idea while working with one of the original investors in the company, Mike Santer, who thought up the concept of creating a very large consumer panel online to track online commerce The problem was that the traditional methods in which companies were tracking online behavior would not work in tracking commerce, because of the lower incidence of buying online Normal panels in tracking visitation would be around 20-30K and, with less than 2-3% of the population buying online, the panel size needed to be at least 1-2MM They decided to build a very large panel using more aggressive recruiting methodology and managing for the error by using advanced statistical methods and controls Years and tens of millions of dollars went into finding the best ways to measure online buying and other behaviors, plus the level of accuracy required for Fortune 1000 companies to buy

In 2000, comScore bought certain assets and the customer agreements of PC Data of Reston, Virginia, which was founded by Ann Stephens in 1991 PC Data was among the earliest Web measurement firms, but increasing competitive challenges including a threat of a patent infringement lawsuit by industry pioneer Media Metrix put PC Data's future in doubt The acquisition of PC Data's large customer base helped accelerate the growth of comScore's syndicated measurement service

By 2001, Media Metrix had built a market share lead but had been unable to create a sustainable financial structure NetRatings, its closest competitor, was armed with strong capital reserves and announced its intention to acquire and integrate Media Metrix However, after several months, the FTC announced its intention to block the acquisition and accordingly, NetRatings canceled the transaction comScore was subsequently able to acquire Media Metrix in a deal announced in June 2002

Media Metrix originated as PC Meter, a business unit of market research company NPD Group and began publishing statistics in January 1996 In July 1997, it changed its name to Media Metrix, citing the desire to track a wider variety of interactive traffic In October 1998, Media Metrix merged with its nearest rival, Relevant Knowledge The company went public as NASDAQ:MMXI in May 1999, reaching a market cap of $135 million on its first day of trading In June 2000, the company acquired Jupiter Communications for $414 million in stock and changed its name to Jupiter Media Metrix In the aftermath of the dot-com bubble collapse and associated downturn in internet marketing spending, Jupiter sold the Media Metrix service to rival comScore for $15 million in June 2002

On March 30, 2007, comScore announced its intent to sell shares in an initial public offering and be traded on the Nasdaq using the symbol "SCOR"

In May 2008, comScore announced its acquisition of M:Metrics, a company measuring mobile content consumption The transaction involved a cash payment of $443 million and the issue of approximately 50,000 options to purchase shares of comScore common stock to certain M:Metrics unvested option holders

comScore announced in October 2009 the acquisition of Certifica, a provider of real-time web measurement and digital marketing technology solutions in Latin America Based in Santiago, Chile, Certifica has offices throughout Latin America, including Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Peru The acquisition enhanced comScore’s presence in the rapidly developing Latin American market

In February 2010, comScore announced it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire the ARSgroup in an all-cash acquisition Headquartered in Evansville, Indiana, ARSgroup’s areas of expertise included brand strategy, all stages of creative development, campaign evaluation across all marketing and media channels, media planning, return on investment, and forecasting

On July 1, 2010, comScore announced that it has acquired the products division of Nexius, Inc

comScore then acquired web analytics and video measurement solutions provider Nedstat nl for approximately $367 million Announced on September 1, 2010, the acquisition helps comScore accelerate its global expansion strategy, particularly in European markets

On February 11, 2014, comScore announced the appointment of Serge Matta as chief executive officer, effective March 1 In February 2015 comScore US entered into a partnership with Kantar owned by WPP with an equity stake purchase

In September 2015, comScore and Rentrak announced a merger of the two companies The move was meant to combine comScore's digital media measurement capabilities with the TV measurement capabilities of Rentrak to create a cross-platform media measurement firm, perhaps capable of challenging Nielsen NV in the media measurement space Under terms of the agreement, comScore agreed to acquire Rentrak in an all-stock deal valued at about $732 million, with Rentrak shareholders receiving 115 shares of comScore per owned share of Rentrak

The comScore-Rentrak deal closed on February 1, 2016, with the final transaction being valued at $7677 million

Co-founder Gian Fulgoni, who had been serving as chairman emeritus since 2014, abruptly replaced Serge Matta as chief executive officer on August 10, 2016 On September 2, 2016, comScore received a letter from NASDAQ that it was in danger of being delisted from the exchange on September 12 unless comScore filed its 2015 annual report form 10-K and reports for the first two quarters of 2016

Data collection and reporting

comScore maintains a group of users who have monitoring software with brands including PermissionResearch, OpinionSquare and VoiceFive Networks installed on their computers In exchange for joining the comScore research panels, users are presented with various benefits, including computer security software, Internet data storage, virus scanning and chances to win cash or prizes

comScore estimates that two million users are part of the monitoring program However, self-selected populations, no matter how large, may not be representative of the population as a whole To obtain the most accurate data, comScore adjusts the statistics using weights to make sure that each population segment is adequately represented To calculate these weights, comScore regularly recruits panelists using random digit dialing and other offline recruiting methods to accurately determine how many users are online, aggregated by geography, income, and age Correcting the comScore data requires having accurate demographics about the larger pool of users However, some comScore users are recruited without being asked to give demographic information and, in other cases, users may not be truthful about their demographics To ensure the accuracy of the data, comScore verifies its users' demographics during the course of measuring statistical data

The corrected data is used to generate reports on topics ranging from web traffic to video streaming activity and consumer buying power

Unified Digital Measurement

With the introduction of Unified Digital Measurement UDM in May 2009, comScore implemented a solution to digital audience measurement that organically blended both panel and census-based measurement approaches into a single unified methodology comScore has developed this proprietary methodology to calculate audience reach in a manner not affected by variables such as cookie deletion and cookie blocking/rejection to help reconcile longstanding differences between the two measurement approaches

Campaign measurement

comScore debuted Campaign Essentials in 2010 to measure how digital campaigns are reaching their audiences In March 2012, comScore launched validated Campaign Essentials vCE, which introduced the notion of “validated” impressions In January 2013, comScore announced that it had evaluated 4,000 campaigns for clients covering more than 75 advertising agencies


In 2006, Ben Edelman, a Harvard researcher, alleged that there were cases where comScore software had been installed on users' computers without their knowledge comScore admitted that it was in discussion with a spyware firm called DollarRevenue but said that no contract was ever signed, and that once it realized DollarRevenue was distributing comScore's software, months later, it took steps to prevent the DollarRevenue-distributed software from sending data to comScore Stanford IT notes that the monitoring software has been bundled with file sharing program iMesh without users being aware of it, although comScore's relationship with iMesh was short-lived and occurred several years ago

In the past, the software forwarded users' internet traffic through comScore proxy servers, provoking criticism about speed performance As a result, several universities and banks took steps to block the proxy servers In response to these concerns, comScore no longer uses this technology

In June 2010, a warning about Mac Spyware being launched from free applications like screensavers, from security company Intego was reported in the media and implicated VoiceFive, Inc as the source of certain alleged spyware software

Additionally, noted blogger and angel investor Jason Calacanis claimed that ComScore was running an 'extorting ring' by vastly undercounting publisher traffic numbers and forcing them to pay fees for direct measurement via a tracking pixel ComScore responded to these allegations by offering their direct measurement tracking pixel to long-tail web publishers for free


  • Magid Abraham, comScore's co-founder, received the 2009 Charles Coolidge Parlin Marketing Research Award at the 2009 American Marketing Association Marketing Research Conference
  • comScore was selected as a winner of the 2009 Chicago Innovation Awards for its creative development of AdEffx in October 2009
  • In June 2009, comScore and the GSM Association won the MEF Award for Business Intelligence in Mobile Media
  • comScore was rated as the preferred audience measurement service by 504 percent of respondents to the William Blair & Company 6th semiannual survey of the members of the Chicago Interactive Marketing Association CIMA
  • comScore was ranked as the 15th largest US market research firm based on 2008 domestic revenues, growing faster than each of the largest 25 research firms, according to the 2008 Honomichl Top 50 report
  • comScore was selected by World Economic Forum as one of 2007's 47 most innovative companies
  • comScore co-founder Magid Abraham was honored with the Eighth Annual Buck Weaver Award for Marketing The award recognizes individuals who have made important contributions to the advancement of theory and practice in marketing science
  • In 2014, comScore has been awarded the "New Technology of the Year Award" by Digital Analytics Association With its multi-platform capability, Digital Analytix is able to unify users across devices and platforms using comScore’s proprietary browser unification methodology
  • According to the third-party analysts' Alexa Internet and SimilarWeb researches, comScore is one of the best rated marketing companies

Competitors and alliances

Competitors in internet market research include Alexa, Nielsen Online, Quantcast, SimilarWeb, SRDS by Kantar Media, Thalamus, and Compete, a TNS Media company

In February 2011, The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement CIMM and comScore announced they were working together to measure three-screen users and their behavior with content and advertising across television, Internet, and mobile

See also

  • Alexa
  • Competecom
  • Customer knowledge
  • Hitwise
  • Nielsen ratings
  • Quantcast
  • SimilarWeb


  1. ^ "ComScorecom WHOIS, DNS, & Domain Info - DomainTools" WHOIS Retrieved 2016-09-20 
  2. ^ http://varietycom/2016/digital/news/comscore-gian-fulgoni-mel-wesley-1201834450/
  3. ^ "comScore Networks Introduces "Customer Knowledge Platform" that Provides a 360° View of Customer Buying and Browsing Behavior on the Internet" comScore 2000-09-18 
  4. ^ Surfing Down Memory Lane to January 1996: comScore Media Metrix Revisits First-Ever Web Site Rankings
  5. ^ "PC Meter Renames, Remakes Itself" Wired News 1997-07-21 Archived from the original on 2004-12-01 
  6. ^ Emert, Carol 1998-10-13 "2 Rating Services For Web Merge" SFGate 
  7. ^ "May 7, 1999 Market Close" Motley Fool 
  8. ^ "Media Metrix, Jupiter merge in $414 million deal" CNET 2000-06-27 
  9. ^ "Jupiter sells part of measurement unit" CNET 2002-06-06 
  10. ^ "Web-traffic specialist comScore files for IPO" MarketWatch 2007-04-02 
  11. ^ a b "comScore's March 30th S-1 SEC form" SEC 2007-03-30 
  12. ^ http://wwwcomscorecom/press/releaseasppress=2244
  13. ^ "comScore to Acquire Certifica, a Leading Provider of Real-Time Web Measurement and Digital Marketing Technology Solutions in Latin America" comScore, Inc 2010-10-29 
  14. ^ "comScore Announces Acquisition of ARSgroup" comScore, Inc 2010-02-10 
  15. ^ "comScore Acquires Products Division of Nexius, Inc" comScore, Inc 2010-07-01 
  16. ^ "comScore Acquires Nedstat, Global Analytics and Online Optimization Provider" comScore, Inc 2010-09-01 
  17. ^ "comScore to Appoint Serge Matta Chief Executive Officer" Press release Reston, Virginia: comScore, Inc PR Newswire 11 February 2014 Retrieved 8 September 2016 
  18. ^ "Kantar Partnership See's WPP Agree Pay $4613/Share For 15-20% Of ComScore" 
  19. ^ Perlberg, Steven; Vranica, Suzanne 2 Oct 2015 "Media Industry Welcomes ComScore-Rentrak Deal" Wall Street Journal 3 Oct 2015 Retrieved 6 May 2016 
  20. ^ "comScore and Rentrak to Merge, Creating Leading Cross-Platform Measurement Company" 29 Sep 2015 Retrieved 7 May 2016 
  21. ^ Liyakasa, Kelly 1 Feb 2016 "ComScore Completes $768M Merger With Rentrak In Bid For Cross-Screen Measurement" AdExchangercom Retrieved 7 May 2016 
  22. ^ "comScore Board Names Co-Founder Gian Fulgoni as Company's Chief Executive Officer" Press release Reston, Virginia: comScore, Inc PR Newswire 10 August 2016 Retrieved 8 September 2016 
  23. ^ Medici, Andy 6 September 2016 "Here's why Nasdaq is threatening to delist comScore" Washington Business Journal Retrieved 8 September 2016 
  24. ^ "voicefivecom - more comScore tracking stuff" Retrieved 2010-06-07 
  25. ^ "Review of comScore Methodology" Advertising Research Foundation ARF 2001 
  26. ^ "Collecting & Analyzing Web Usage Data from User Panels" comScore April 2001 pp 7, 9, 13 
  27. ^ "comScore Methodology" Archived from the original on 2006-10-19 Retrieved 2006-11-02 
  28. ^ "The "Professional Respondent" Problem In Online Survey Panels Today" comScore June 2005 pp 8–10 
  29. ^ "comScore Releases Worldwide Ranking of Top Web Properties" comScore 2006-10-26 
  30. ^ "comScore Releases US Video Metrix Rankings" comScore 2006-09-27 
  31. ^ "Newspaper Web Site Audiences Grow Faster Than Total Internet Populations In Largest US Markets" comScore 2002-07-08 
  32. ^ "comScore Announces Media Metrix 360: The Next Generation of Global Digital Audience Measurement" comScore 2009-05-31 
  33. ^ "comScore Introduces Validated Campaign Essentials™ vCE" comScore 2012-01-18 
  34. ^ "comScore vCE Reaches Milestone with Completion of 4,000th Client Study" comScore 2013-01-23 
  35. ^ Ben Edelman 2006-07-26 "Comscore Doesn't Always Get Consent" benedelmanorg 
  36. ^ a b Lisa Lerer 2006-12-07 "How Much Privacy" Forbes 
  37. ^ a b "MarketScore Spyware" Stanford Information Security Office 2005-01-11 
  38. ^ "An Analysis of the New Marketscore Proxy" Cornell's IT Security Office 2005-05-31 
  39. ^ "'Researchware' watches where you click" MSNBC 2005-04-20 
  40. ^ "ComScore: Spyware or 'researchware'" CNET 2004-12-20 
  41. ^ "Intego Security Alert: OSX/OpinionSpy Spyware Installed by Freely Distributed Mac Applications" Intego 2010-06-01 
  42. ^ "Mac OS X OpinionSpy – same old, same old" 2010-06-02 
  43. ^ Arrington, Michael "Jason Calacanis Punches Comscore In The Face Comscore Punches Back Fred Wilson Drags Us Into It $SCOR" Techcrunch Techcrunch Retrieved 12 September 2015 
  44. ^ HARDAWAR, DEVINDRA "ComScore site tracking now free, offers discounts for startups" Venturebeat Venturebeat Retrieved 12 September 2015 
  45. ^ "2009 Charles Coolidge Parlin Marketing Research Award" American Marketing Association 2009-10-06 
  46. ^ "Past Winners" Chicago Innovation Awards 2009-10-20 
  47. ^ "Meffys winners showcase vibrant mobile entertainment industry" m-e-forg 2009-06-24 
  48. ^ "William Blair & Company and CIMA Release Fifth Installment of Semiannual Interactive Marketing Survey" William Blair & Company 2008-07-08 
  49. ^ "comScore Ranked as Fastest Growing Company Among 20 Largest Global Market Research Firms" comScore, Inc 2008-08-13 
  50. ^ "Technology Pioneers" World Economic Forum Retrieved 2007-05-19 
  51. ^ "MIT Sloan's Buck Weaver marketing award honors comScore CEO" MIT Sloan School of Management 2011-01-21 
  52. ^ "Digital Analytics Association 2014 Awards for Excellence Recipients" digitalanalyticsassociationorg Archived from the original on March 26, 2014 Retrieved 2014-05-27 
  53. ^ "comScore Digital Analytix Multi-Platform Awarded 2014 New Technology of the Year by Digital Analytics Association" comScore, Inc Archived from the original on March 26, 2014 Retrieved 2014-05-27 
  54. ^ "comScore Alexa" Alexa Internet Retrieved 4 June 2015 
  55. ^ "comScore on SimilarWeb" SimilarWeb Retrieved 4 June 2015 

External links

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