Whenever a publisher, agency or advertiser uses any data from a UK industry standard measurement body, whether for editorial, strategic, communications, or campaign planning, or even for simple topical audience insight, they can be 100% confident that it is objective and robust. UKOM sets and governs the standard for UK online audience measurement and its data is available to all subscribers for insight throughout all those processes and more. As UKOM reaches its tenth birthday, and just like anyone on the cusp of double digits, you can see that we’re constantly growing and changing.  Before we blow out our birthday candles, here's a rundown of some of the key events and people who shaped UKOM's first ten years.

May 2007

May 2007

Following more than two years of informal talks among industry stakeholders, including the IPA, ISBA, the IAB and the AOP, a new digital audience research body, JICIMS, is constituted as a limited company. It is tasked, in the first instance, with overseeing a digital Establishment Survey in partnership with the National Readership Survey; but it is also invited to explore options for broader progress in digital audience research. Consensus, however, will prove elusive.

October 2008

October 2008

At a landmark Town Hall event held at the IAB, attended by senior representatives of media owners, agencies and advertisers, including P&G and Unilever, the industry finally grasps the nettle – and votes unanimously in favour of the creation of an industry-regulated single source of digital audience measurement research. JICIMS, led by General Manager Peter Bowman is charged with producing workable proposals.

December 2008

December 2008

JICIMS is reconstituted as UKOM. At the Town Hall meeting, UKOM stakeholders had voted to explore a “3rd way” option – a partnership with a data company, which would deliver flexibility at a much reduced cost. But the IPA and ISBA, while sanctioning this option, now decide they cannot take ownership seats with the AOP and IAB on the UKOM board. Instead, they will be represented on the board in an advisory capacity.

October 2009

October 2009

In September, UKOM had appointed Nielsen to deliver audience data from site auditing and from a panel of around 35,000 consumers across home and work locations. Now, a month later at an official launch event, Douglas McArthur is unveiled at UKOM Chairman. McArthur announces that digital audience data will begin coming on stream during January 2010.

April 2012

April 2012

UKOM announces that, following an industry consultation and a pitch process, it has decided not to renew with Nielsen. The new incumbent is to be Comscore, on an initial three-year deal beginning at the start of 2013. New challenges include the ability to measure across all devices and locations, including mobile.

April 2015

April 2015

UKOM extends its contract with Comscore, with provision for a rolling review process, working together to stay abreast of new platforms while addressing the evolution of new technologies and consumer behaviour.

September 2015

September 2015

UKOM appoints Ian Dowds as its first chief executive. With a CV featuring senior roles at ITV, MindShare, Turner Broadcasting System, Specific Media, Trinity Mirror and InMobi, Ian brings with him a wealth of knowledge about both the buying and the selling sides of the media marketplace, across TV, news brands and digital, including mobile.

March 2018

March 2018

ISBA joins the AOP and IAB as co-owners of UKOM. The IPA remains on the board in an advisory capacity.

Key figures in UKOM history

Danny Meadows-Klue

A leading light at the IAB in its early days (1996-2007: he was co-founder then CEO), Danny was an early advocate of an industry-wide approach to digital audience research.

Louise Ainsworth

MD, EMEA, Nielsen Online, 2006-2011. Louise took a prominent role in debating digital audience research issues, not least on conference platforms. Nielsen went on to win UKOM’s first contract.

Guy Phillipson

IAB CEO, 2007-16. Guy picked up where Danny Meadows-Klue left off – and laid the groundwork for the evolution of JICIMS into UKOM.

Bill Murray

For many years, Bill was a senior executive at Haymarket Media Group and played a key role in the founding and development of the Association of Online Publishers. As head of the AOP during the relevant period, he was one of the architects of UKOM and now chairs the UKOM Commercial Board.

Mark Cranmer

Chair of JICIMS from mid-2008, then of UKOM until July 2009, Mark chaired the milestone Town Hall meeting in October 2008.

Peter Bowman

General Manager of JICIMS (2007-8), taking the same role as the body evolved into UKOM. Peter’s technical group drew up UKOM’s first RFP and oversaw a pitch process won by Nielsen.

Douglas McArthur OBE

Douglas took over chairmanship of UKOM from Mark Cranmer in July 2009. Douglas saw Comscore take over from Nielsen in 2012, appointed Ian Dowds as UKOM’s first CEO in 2015 and was instrumental in ISBA joining the IAB and AOP as UKOM co-owners in 2018.

James Smythe

In early 2010, James Smythe succeeded Peter Bowman as UKOM general manager. With a strong industry background, James had previously headed sport research at BMRB and market research at GCap. By 2013, UKOM and Comscore unveiled tablet metrics in response to the pressing commercial need to quantify multi-device media consumption. 

Scott Fleming

General Manager, UKOM, 2009-present. Scott oversaw the second and third RFP processes, with contracts awarded to Comscore in each instance. Scott chairs the UKOM Technical Board.