General

Q. What does the UKOM acronym stand for?

UK Online Measurement.

Q. What is UKOM?

UKOM is where industry stakeholders come together to define and govern a UK industry standard for online audience measurement across PC, tablet and smartphone. We quantify audiences in terms of people, not browsers or machines. We believe that demography still lies at the heart of what advertisers want to achieve.

Q. When was UKOM created?

Following years of debate about the need for a common standard of online audience measurement, UKOM was formed in 2009 by the major players in the industry it serves - agencies, publishers and advertisers.

Q. Who owns UKOM?

UKOM is equally co-owned by the Association of Online Publishers (AOP), the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA). The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) advises UKOM’s executive board.

Q. How is UKOM structured?

UKOM has an Executive Board, a Technical Board and a Commercial Board. Contact us here with any questions for these boards.

Q. Does UKOM measure the audience of advertising campaigns?

A. No.

Q. What is innovative about UKOM’s approach?

Over many decades, the communications industry has created a range of entities to provide audience numbers and trading metrics for each advertising medium. This alphabet soup of industry bodies includes ABC, BARB, JICPOPS, JICREG, JICWEBS, PAMCO, RAJAR and ROUTE - these are JICs (or Joint Industry Currencies) and they measure UK-only media consumption of heritage media. But the internet’s borderless nature has led to the emergence of entirely new media phenomena - and our challenge is to measure the UK audiences of entities that are, in many cases, global. Our solution is to partner with a multinational research organisation (currently Comscore) which retains ownership of the data, while our role is to oversee and endorse that data as appropriate for the UK market. It’s a fluid and flexible approach. We keep R&D costs to a bare minimum while delivering audience measurement solutions that keep pace with rapidly evolving patterns of consumption across multiple devices, including mobiles.

Q. How is UKOM funded?

UKOM is funded by a 12.5% levy on subscriptions to all UKOM-endorsed products that Comscore provides.

For users

Q. How do I get UKOM data?

UKOM data is available is various ways: via subscription, via software bureaux, Telmar, IMS and Kantar or through IPA’s Touchpoints or an API feed to power proprietary systems. Most users chose to receive the data directly from the Comscore user interface, though many use bureaux software as it has more developed planning tools.

Q. What age groups are reported by UKOM?

Age groups vary by product. On desktop/laptop we report from age 6+. On smartphone/tablet we report from age 13+. By the end of 2018 we expect to report both from age 6+.

Q. How often is the data released?

The data is released on a monthly basis, in the month following the measurement period, so January data would be released 15 working days into February.

Q. As a subscriber, who is my relationship with?

Contractually, your relationship is with Comscore and your account manager is your first point of contact on commercial and technical aspects. If you are a member of the IPA or AOP, who co-own UKOM, they can pass queries to UKOM. You can also talk direct with UKOM via our website.

Technical

Q. How are internet audiences measured in UKOM-endorsed products?

Across all platforms (desktop, mobile and tablet), we adopt a hybrid approach – combining data from site/app tagging with findings from a metered respondent panel. Measures derived solely from tagging will tell you which machines have been used to access which content. Only by coupling this with panel data will you have a full picture, including demographics, of the human reality of the online audience. Members of the panel have a piece of software downloaded to their devices – and this software works as a ‘meter’, tracking sites visited while recording engagement and duration metrics.

Q. What is the size of the UKOM reporting panel?

The desktop/laptop panel is over 50,000 individuals. The mobile panel is more than 10,000 individuals. Over 300,000 sites carry Comscore tags.

Q. How are panels recruited?

Panels are recruited online. Participants are not paid but thanked for taking part with things like free software downloads and donations to charity. To achieve panel balance, UKOM insists that its research provider, Comscore, uses The Publishers Audience Measurement Company (PAMCo) survey. Launched in April 2018, this supercedes the NRS print survey and encompasses publishing products across mobile, tablet, PC and print.

Q. Comscore recruits its panels exclusively online. Does this introduce any bias or inaccuracy not found in face to face recruited samples?

When Comscore was awarded the UKOM contract we agreed that an exercise to address this issue would be conducted. This was known as the Quality Validation Panel (QVP).  QVP respondents were recruited face to face and installed Comscore’s online meter software and their online behaviour was then tracked and compared to that of the existing Comscore Home PC/laptop panel. The aim was to compare the sampling efficiency (vs mean measures for 2,483 sites) of Comscore's online-recruited Home PC/laptop panel with that of the probabilistically-, offline-recruited QVP panel. The UKOM Technical Board and Comscore concluded that per individual respondent, unique visitors, page views and duration variances from 'truth' were greater for the Comscore panel but at aggregate level the scale of the Comscore panel (usually 70k+) mitigates against its lower efficiency - and allows measurement of many more entities. In short, there are some differences, but these are compensated for by the volumes it is possible to achieve via online recruitment.

Q. What happens if a publisher’s site or app is not tagged?

Ideally, all web pages, video (player and content) and apps should be tagged to give the most accurate reporting of audience. However, untagged content will still be reported when and if it is accessed by people-panel members - but given the limitations of panels, the measurement numbers are likely to be lower than they might have been if tagged. Panels, for instance, tend to under-represent out-of-home usage. See our opinion piece on this issue here.

Q. What devices are covered?

PCs, tablets, smartphones (with the exception of Windows-based models and Blackberry) and tablets, iOS and Android operating systems, browsing and apps (apps must be tagged).

Q. How are panel and census data combined?

Comscore uses a statistical process known as Unified Digital Measurement (UDM) to combine panel and tagging data-sets to produce reconciled data for unique visitors, page views and duration-based metrics. This is achieved via the application of cookies per person ratios (derived from panel meter observation) to the data, which has the effect of removing duplicated site/app usage by one person across different devices, browsers and locations.

Q. Can I see one unduplicated number across multiple devices?

Yes. Through a product known as MMX Multi-Platform (MMX M-P), Comscore takes all the audience data from the platform-specific data sources (MMX, VMX and MoMX) and applies a statistical function to them to create a cross-device view of usage.

Q. Where I can see a summary of UKOM-Comscore product methodologies?

A bite-sized method summary document can be downloaded here: cS_UKOM methodology summary Apr_2018.ppt

If you have any further questions, please contact us using the form below.