Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

The evolving landscape of cross-platform media insights

NDA recently sat down with Alejandro Fosk, Executive Vice President International at Comscore to discuss the evolution of cross-platform media measurement…

With the loss of third-party cookies and other personal ID signals is cross-platform measurement becoming more challenging for marketers?

    Absolutely, the loss of third-party cookies and other personal ID signals presents a significant challenge for marketers in terms of cross-platform measurement. These changes limit the ability to track users across different platforms and devices, making it harder to accurately measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and to track and understand user behaviour.   

    Digital marketers have traditionally relied on third-party cookies and other personal ID signals to track user interactions across websites, mobile apps, and different devices. This data is critical to understanding the customer journey and to optimising advertising strategies.  

    On the other hand, this change will open opportunities to rethink measurement strategies and embrace new approaches that prioritise user privacy and data protection. One of these new approaches is the one Comscore is embracing with its Unified Digital Measurement (UDM) 2.0 methodology, the next generation of our Unified Digital Measurement (UDM), which will be powered by a new, enhanced methodology that utilises first-party IDs from publishers in place of third-party signals. 

    For Comscore, consumer privacy is always at the forefront of how we conduct business, and we are dedicated to ensuring that we are leading measurement, planning, and activation forward in a manner designed with privacy-in-mind.   

    What are the major barriers to cross-platform measurement in 2024?

      There are a few aspects that are making cross-platform measurement challenging in 2024.  

      The first aspect is related to a lack of a unified measurement. Different media and content platforms use different measurement methodologies and metrics, making it difficult to compare and reconcile data.  

      Also, as mentioned before, the phasing-out in 2025 of third-party cookies and other personal ID signals by major browsers and platforms limits the ability to track users across websites and devices. This signal loss makes it hard to measure cross-platform interactions accurately.  

      Then there is the increasing fragmentation of data as users interact with brands across multiple devices and platforms, leading to fragmented data sets, which makes it difficult to aggregate and integrate data from various sources to create a unified view of the customer journey.  

      Lastly, privacy regulations, such as the GDPR in Europe restrict the collection and use of personal data for measurement purposes.  

      All these represent barriers to cross-measurement in 2024.

      Is it possible to truly understand your full audience across all digital platforms?

        As mentioned above, achieving a complete view is difficult for several reasons that include the fragmentation of data, the lack of a unified or standardised solution, an array of data providers that don’t communicate between themselves plus the loss of signal due to third-party cookies deprecation or privacy issues.   

        Still, there are companies, such as Comscore, that are working to address these challenges, providing solutions to address the complexities of today’s cross platform environment. 

        For example, to truly understands audience behaviour in a comprehensive manner, it is essential to adopt a deduplicated view of audience metrics. This deduplication is crucial for providing advertisers and publishers with accurate, actionable insights, allowing for more effective campaign planning and execution that reflects the true reach and impact across the digital ecosystem. 

        Are emerging channels like CTV and programmatic Digital Out of Home creating fresh challenges for cross-media measurement?

          Yes, these channels introduce new complexities to the media landscape, and thus to media measurement. These challenges can be summarised as follows:

          • Cross platform data integration: Integrating data from CTV and programmatic DOOH with other digital channels for comprehensive cross-media measurement presents a technical challenge.
          • Audience fragmentation & attribution: audience attention is further fragmented across different platforms and devices. Later, attributing conversions or actions to specific touchpoints becomes more complex when multiple channels are involved

          Addressing these challenges requires innovative approaches to cross-media measurement, including the development of advanced attribution models, the integration of diverse data sources, and the implementation of privacy-compliant measurement practice.

          Comscore is addressing all these issues through our cross media, cross platform, privacy compliant methodology.

          How does Comscore’s innovative approach to audience measurement meet some of the challenges discussed? 

            Comscore´s digital DNA has allowed us to provide a comprehensive measurement solution in different markets that enable clients to understand audience behaviour across multiple platforms, including digital, social, linear TV (in the US), CTV, and programmatic. Comscore integrates data from various sources, including panel-based measurement, census-level data, and behavioural insights, to create a holistic view of the audience. Also, Comscore prioritises privacy compliance and data protection in its measurement practices to adhere to industry standards and regulations, such as GDPR and CCPA and audits such as the MRC. In March of this year, we received the accreditation by the Media Rating Council (MRC) for the Total Household Rating and Average Audience estimates in both its national and local TV Time Based Grid reports. This outcome makes Comscore the only measurement company accredited for its local TV measurement, and the only accredited national measurement that leverages “big data” science and methodology in the US. 

            Regarding fragmentation and the rapid evolution of digital media consumption, particularly through social platforms, we understand the importance of providing a complete view of digital audiences. So, this year we added Social Incremental audiences to our flagship digital measurement tool, providing a deduplicated view of audience metrics across platforms — social, mobile, and desktop — allowing for a more holistic and accurate representation of digital consumer behaviour. This new capability is instrumental for publishers and brands seeking to comprehensively measure their total digital population. 

            Finally, Comscore is also addressing the cookie deprecation process and launching a first party measurement through its UDM 2.0 methodology, which is one of a kind. 

            In summary Comscore’s innovative approach to audience measurement, addresses the most important challenges facing cross-platform media measurement by providing comprehensive, integrated, and privacy-compliant solutions.