Updated: Consortium to challenge Nielsen formalized: "CIMM"

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September 10th, 2009

we'll get on this later, this is news, though there's nothing new here in the sense that they don't actually have any ratings to report.  You can see the original reporting of this, as well as some additional thinking.

Update: I listened in on the conference call and they were very clear to distance themselves as an alternative to Nielsen and is billed only as a research endeavor aimed at fostering innovation.  The funding is currently apparently tiny (seven figures BETWEEN all 14 current members).

This seems so much all about PR and little else to me that I dropped off the call after only a few questions.

They haven't even hired an executive director yet and will be soliciting RFPs (request for proposals) on a few fronts including set top box measurement and cross platform measurement.

Some of the questioners asked great questions, that didn't really get great answers.  I still see this primarily as a way to get Nielsen to move faster.

When you start talking about "new innovative technology" without being able to describe specifically what data you would like to see makes it hard to take this seriously from a point of view of having any new measurements that will change the way advertising is bought and sold anytime in the next few years.  "Preliminary funding for innovation" on something like this just doesn't seem very interesting...

Here's the press release...

Media Industry Leaders to Launch the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) - Executive Quotes

NEW YORK, Sept 10, 2009 /PRNewswire/ ----Executives from the 14 companies representing the founding members of the Council for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) today commented on the formation of the organization:

Jeff Bewkes, Chairman and CEO, Time Warner: "As we continue to make our content available across additional and emerging platforms through initiatives like TV Everywhere, it becomes increasingly important to measure consumer interaction with our brands. Comprehensive and accurate measurement will have a direct effect on the continued growth of our industry."

George Bodenheimer, President, ESPN, Inc. and ABC Sports, Co-chairman, Disney Media Networks: "When you get down to it, we're all looking for answers to some very similar questions. It makes sense to come together to help advance the measurement of media across all platforms to serve our strategic needs, while helping the industry build smarter accountability for our advertisers."

Nick Brien, President and CEO, Interpublic Group's Mediabrands: "The velocity of today's technology developments enables us to demand a more sophisticated measurement model that provides greater accountability and accuracy to increase the effectiveness of our clients' media and marketing investments. We can no longer subscribe to outdated perceptions of engagement. As we strive for the most accurate and useful data, we must support innovation in measurement and build new platforms to compete with our increasingly measurable world."

Chase Carey, Deputy Chairman, President and Chief Operating Officer, News Corporation: "At News Corp we've been calling for more accurate television measurement for some time. We're happy to support this bold industry initiative -- which is the first step in a major movement by media companies and their advertising partners to explore available ways to better measure the various platforms that support video content."

Philippe Dauman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Viacom: "Today's audiences are consuming more media in more ways than ever before. We all have an urgent need to evolve our methods of measurement such that advertisers and programmers can better understand consumer behavior. CIMM's strong and coordinated commitment to driving advances and innovation in audience measurement will ultimately help us deliver more value to our advertising and marketing partners."

Laura Desmond, Global CEO, Starcom MediaVest Group: "It's a new media ecosystem, yet the industry relies on old media metrics. This simply can't continue. Finding consistent, reliable measurement for today and future realities, needs to be a top priority. With CIMM we look to address the issues--from unlocking the full potential of set-top-box data to identifying standards for assessing cross-platform performance -- head on and with vigor."

Dina Howell, Vice President, Global Media & Brand Operations, The Procter & Gamble Company: "P&G is focused on serving more consumers more fully with our marketing communications. We believe a system that holistically measures the range of touchpoints across media is essential if we are to better engage our consumers when and where they are most receptive. And, it only makes sense that we explore and learn in this area as an industry."

Laura Klauberg, Senior Vice President, Global Media, Unilever: "Unilever is aggressively pursuing new ways to connect our brands with consumers. The ability to accurately measure the impact of our investments in this evolving and fragmented media landscape is critical for informing business decisions. To that end, we are extremely pleased to join with our industry peers in this initiative."

Esther Lee, Senior Vice President, Brand Marketing and Advertising, AT&T: "Connecting customers is at the heart of the AT&T brand, so having a better understanding how our customers actually connect and respond to our advertising -- whether it's TV, online or over their handsets -- will help us do a better job of driving value through those media investments. That's why we are excited to be involved with this coalition of industry leaders who are committed to working with the best data providers and analysts to create an effective cross-platform media metric solution."

Sir Martin Sorrell, Chief Executive, WPP, holding company for GroupM: "Given the recent changes in media consumption habits, it is critical for the various constituencies of our industry to agree on the priorities for the next generation of media measurement systems. Once we have agreed on these priorities, we can identify the most promising opportunities and initiatives and concentrate our future investments on the most effective systems that meet our objectives in this new media environment."

Anne Sweeney, President, Disney/ABC Television Group, and Co-chair, Disney Media Networks: "The digital era has empowered the viewer with choice of content and platform. Better understanding the evolving dynamics of how the audience connects with our content will help us reach them more effectively. This is essential for content providers, agencies, and advertisers alike; and working together will ensure we achieve it."

Nancy Tellem, President, CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group: "As more professional content finds its way to multiple platforms it's imperative that content owners receive value for viewing on these screens. CIMM underscores the mutual need for those on the buying and selling side to come together to establish metrics across all platforms in an accurate and credible way. This announcement shouldn't be seen as an alternative to Nielsen. It's quite the contrary; we expect Nielsen, along with other research entities, to be a part of the solution."

Page Thompson, CEO, North America, Omnicom Media Group: "There is only one constant in the media industry today -- and that is that everything is changing. New ways of thinking and new technologies are driving this change. As an industry, we've been quick to adapt to sharp and swift changes in how, when, where and even why people use media. The goal of this alliance is to ensure that we can provide a context for measurement that is more relevant and reliable in the brave new media world that we have helped create. There is no better time than now to harness this new thinking and technology to provide a new measurement currency."

David Zaslav, President and CEO, Discovery Communications: "CIMM's mission is to tackle the industry's most pressing issues -- higher levels of accountability and cross-platform measurement -- to enable solutions that keep pace with innovation at the consumer level which will ultimately benefit advertisers, agencies and media companies alike.

Jeff Zucker, President and CEO, NBC Universal: "Twenty-first century media needs 21(st) century measurement techniques. Existing systems are incapable of accurately measuring the media habits of our audience across today's multiplicity of platforms. CIMM is an important step in helping to address this problem. As an industry, we can't afford not to do this, because if we can't measure our audience accurately, we can't sell it."

About CIMM

The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) was founded by several leading television content providers, media agencies and advertisers to promote innovation in audience measurement for television and cross-platform media. CIMM will explore and identify new methodologies and approaches to audience measurement through a series of pilot studies with independent measurement companies focusing on two key areas: the current and future potential of television measurement through set-top-box data, and new methods for cross-platform media measurement.

Founding members and current participating companies are: AT&T; CBS Corporation, Discovery Communications, GroupM, Interpublic Group's Mediabrands, NBC Universal, News Corporation, Omnicom Media Group, P&G, Starcom MediaVest Group Worldwide, Time Warner, Unilever, Viacom and The Walt Disney Company.

SOURCE Council for Innovative Media Measurement

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