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Fusion is the new black: Unifying published media consumption across platforms

by Michal Galin , 06.04.2016

The media and entertainment industry has changed irrevocably in a relatively short period of time. With Connected Consumers able to access media content across multiple platforms (video, desktop, mobile, etc.) and media multi-task, it has become increasingly difficult for publishers, advertisers and brands to evaluate the true extent of their engagement with and exposure to consumers. And this is something that they must do effectively if they are to optimize content and budgets.

To date, there is no single solution that can provide a complete picture of media measurement. We can’t survey or passively measure the behavior of all consumers. However, there is a very effective alternative approach available to us. We can bring together different datasets – attitudinal and behavioral data, and ratings data, for example – using the miracle of data science to fuse them together to provide the most comprehensive view possible.

A new approach to data fusion

Data fusion itself isn’t new, it’s been around for almost 40 years. Like the color black, it’s never gone out of fashion, but as fusion techniques have developed and become more sophisticated, it is increasingly in vogue – and for good reason. As “fusionists”, we are experts in turning big data into smart data and can provide powerful insight into a fragmented media industry.

Mass media broadcasting to single, coherent audiences is very much a thing of the past. We are now in an era of narrowcast, with audiences who curate their own content schedule. Data fusion is perfectly placed to make sense of those many individual audiences and how they consume media. The absolute beauty of data fusion lies in the fact that we can evolve it to match changing consumer behaviors. In other words, we are able to add data from both increasingly used and emerging platforms to extend our view of media consumption as it changes.

Data fusion in action

We are currently working with comScore in the US to fuse consumers’ online media consumption habits across video, desktop and mobile. The resulting data can help publishers, advertisers and brands to target their online consumers, optimize the media mix for cross-channel campaigns and generate unduplicated cross-media audience reach.

A further example of the approach is the work we’re doing with Nielsen. Together we’ve produced the GfK MRI Nielsen National People Meter (NPM) fusion, which integrates multimedia consumer data from our Survey of the American Consumer®, the gold standard for magazine audience measurement, with TV ratings data from Nielsen NPM. This enables us to deliver duplicated and unduplicated audience metrics for brands that use published media alongside TV. It also allows us to deliver granular segment targeting information paired with the NPM.

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Pushing the boundaries of data fusion

We expect to see more published media data fusions emerge in response to the need of brands to evaluate their engagement with and exposure to consumers. With an increasing amount of data available to us, the potential for pushing the boundaries of data fusion is growing – and we’re excited to be at its forefront.

Please email me to share your thoughts at michal.galin@gfk.com