Ad measurement problems on the web

By April 18, 2007 April 19th, 2007 One Comment

I have often written about the importance of measurability and trackability to the growth of online advertising.  Recently I also blogged about how backward the TV advertising world is in this respect.

Well it turns out that we have a few problems of our own – according to a survey from Comscore cookie based systems for counting unique visitors on average overcount an audience by 2.5x. 

That is huge.

The problem is caused by cookie deletion.  You can read more about it from Fred Wilson and directly from Comscore.

Measuring traffic is primarily of importance to advertisers.  They need to know the size of audience they are paying for.

I can see two types of answer to this problem:

  1. Complement cookie based tracking with panel based systems – like Comscore (this is Fred’s view, and oh, Comscore is one of his investments)
  2. Move to CPA based advertising – this way advertisers pay for exactly what they get (and Buy.At is a CPA play in my portfolio)

You can, or course, do both of these at the same time.