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MeasureCast Introduces Streaming Media Audience Measurement Service

MeasureCast (http://www.measurecast.com) launched its streaming measurement service in mid-August of this year and has been steadily acquiring clients since that time. MeasureCast believes that their audience measurement service can help online broadcasters legitimately state the size and demographic make-up of their audience, thus increasing the value of advertising.

MeasureCast offers next day reports to their clients via their website. To date about 1500 Internet stations are using MeasureCast's services, and these include the stations streamed by BroadcastAmerica, Global Media, StreamAudio, and Eyada.com.

According to Kim West, spokeswoman for BroadcastAmerica, her company felt that Arbitron's ratings system was not accurate, and had chosen not to participate. BroadcastAmerica decided to sign on with MeasureCast because their service was designed for measuring an Internet audience, unobtrusive to the listener, and more accurate then tabulating server logs.

In order to collect the data, MeasureCast has created a two-step process. MeasureCast employs Active Event Monitoring, a server-side technology, to record the exact number of streams requested from an Internet broadcaster's streaming server. This technology is tailored for streaming media, and results in more accurate, tamper-proof, and up-to-date audience size and usage information, says the company. A stream is not logged unless it lasts for at least 3 seconds, and the software can tell you the exact duration of each requested stream.

The second step of the MeasureCast process involves the demographic overlay to accompany the server data. MeasureCast is working with Harrison Interactive to recruit a panel of Internet users through an electronic campaign and online promotions. They are not requiring that a panel participate install software on their computer, but are identifying each participant using the unique ID in their player. MeasureCast will not release the current number of users that they have recruited; however, the company says they are on target to reach 60,000 panel users by the end of the year.

By not requiring the installation of monitoring software, they have been able to recruit both at home and at work users, without making corporations uneasy. The company's current data shows that the vast majority of streams are viewed between 7am EST and 5pm PST. Therefore, MeasureCast believes they will have a more accurate measure by including user's habits during work hours.

Additionally, MeasureCast will report on the number of listeners an internet broadcast achieves, regardless of the number. According to Bill Piwonka, VP of Marketing at MeasureCast, some traditional methods of tabulation will frequently not even list a web site unless it receives a minimum of 200,000 unique hits a month.

Currently, MeasureCast is primarily tailored to track the audience of web radio stations; however, the company believes their service can track any webcast.

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