General

If you have any questions that are not answered here, please e-mail info@ukom.uk.net.

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 and across the full range of text, video and audio content. UKOM quantify audiences in terms of people, not browsers or machines.

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 about these boards.

Q. Does UKOM measure the audience of advertising campaigns?

Until 2020, UKOM has only measured audiences of websites and apps. However, in 2021 we will be developing an online ad campaign audience measurement tool in partnership with Ipsos. Our ambition is to present these campaign measurement results in the same reporting interface as, and cross-analysable against, our core website and app audience ratings.

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 consumption of non-digital 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 digital entities that are, in many cases, global.

Our solution has been to partner with established research organisations (currently Ipsos) who retain 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 that keeps R&D costs to a bare minimum while delivering advanced audience measurement solutions that keep pace with rapidly evolving patterns of consumption across multiple devices, including smartphones.

Q. How is UKOM funded?

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

Q. What is Ipsos iris?

Ipsos iris is the new UKOM-endorsed service for online audience and ad campaign measurement. It uses a hybrid methodology combining metered data from a core 10,000 single-source panel with census site-centric measurement.

The multi-device panel, with full demographic profiling, agrees to the metering of all their primary and some secondary and tertiary personal devices to measure their use of websites and apps, while site-centric measurement deploys tagging of sites and apps to ensure that all visits from all locations are recorded. Combining these two data sources provides the best available measurement and insights.

Q. Who do I speak to if I have questions about UKOM?

Please contact info@ukom.uk.net with any queries.

For users and potential subscribers

Q. How do I get UKOM data?

UKOM data is available in various ways: via direct subscription with Ipsos and indirectly via software bureaux (e.g.Telmar, IMS and Kantar) or through IPA’s Touchpoints. Most users choose to receive the data directly from the user interface (a cloud-based portal), though many use bureau software as it allows integration of other planning tools such as TGI. An API feed to power proprietary systems is also available.

To enquire about subscribing to Ipsos iris data, please contact the Ipsos team: james.torr@ipsos.com or tasneem.ali@ipsos.com or roy.patel@ipsos.com  or email sales@ipsosiris.com

Q. What age groups are reported by UKOM?

Ipsos iris currently reports on UK internet users aged 15+, with reporting on younger age groups planned for later in 2021.

Q. How is this data relevant for digital planning?

Ipsos iris data generates a comprehensive and robust measure of UK online audience behaviour on PCs, tablets and smartphones. It can inform  communications, planning or buying strategy using measures such as daily, weekly or monthly reach for a site, site section or app, for any demographic audience.

Measures of time spent on sites and apps, frequency of visit by device, and overlap of audiences can also be used. Data is comprehensive, independent, objective and consistent across all media properties. 

Daypart and daily reporting also enriches planning options. Behavioural cluster groups will also be reported on in future, in addition to standard demographics.

Q. How often is UKOM data released?

Daily or “overnight” data is available within about 36 hours, i.e. Wednesday data is available on Friday. The monthly dataset is available 15 working days after the month’s end. Overnight reporting is top level only such as top organisation, brands, websites and apps. This analysis will be done on pre-defined target groups. The monthly release includes the full dataset, which can be broken down on a daily, weekly or custom time range basis. Daypart analysis is also available.

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

Contractually, your relationship is with Ipsos and your Ipsos 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 on to UKOM. You can also talk directly with UKOM via our website.

Q. Where does UKOM sit relative to other UK cross-media measurement initiatives?

PAMCo has used UKOM-endorsed online audience data to produce robust cross-platform measurement for the news and magazine industries for some years. And now, UKOM’s new Ipsos iris solution aims to allow the development of fusions with a wider range of data sources in other media sectors.

UKOM is independent of ISBA’s Origin project; Origin aims to pursue one of the first national executions of a global approach to cross-media audience measurement and is, therefore, being developed jointly with the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA). However, as UKOM is equally co-owned by ISBA, the AOP and the IAB, we will of course maintain an active dialogue with Origin as that project evolves.

Q. Where can I see a summary of the UKOM-endorsed Ipsos iris product methodology?

Please see the Technical section of this FAQ. A more detailed method summary can also be found here.

Q. Is Ipsos iris GDPR compliant?

Ipsos work with UKOM and the broader online industry to ensure full GDPR (EU General Data Protection Regulation) compliance and will also adhere as necessary to any forthcoming EU ePrivacy Regulation (ePR).

In February 2020 the government announced that the communications regulator Ofcom will be put in charge of regulating the internet in the UK. Ipsos will continue to work with UKOM to implement any changes necessary as a result of this.

Q. Who do I contact for more information on subscribing to Ipsos iris?

For more details please contact the Ipsos team:

james.torr@ipsos.com or tasneem.ali@ipsos.com or roy.patel@ipsos.com  or email sales@ipsosiris.com

Technical

Q. How are internet audiences measured in Ipsos iris?

Across all platforms (desktop and mobile), Ipsos adopt a hybrid approach – combining data from site and app tagging with findings from a metered single-source multi-device respondent panel. Measures derived solely from tagging tell us which devices have been used to access which content, but only by coupling this with panel data can we produce a full picture, including demographics, of the human reality of the online audience.

Members of the panel have an app/browser extension or a Virtual Private Network (VPN) configuration downloaded to their devices – and this works as a ‘meter’, tracking sites and apps visited while recording engagement and duration metrics. 

Q. How is the Ipsos iris panel made up and recruited?

The 10,000-respondent panel consists of adults aged 15+ and is broken down into the following categories:

  • 7,500 respondents have been newly recruited for the Ipsos iris panel. While most of this recruitment has been conducted online to date (due to pandemic restrictions), Ipsos will recruit up to 20% offline when possible, to ensure a balanced sample in which all internet users have an equal chance of being selected.
  • 2,500 respondents have been added directly from the BBC Compass online panel.

The panel has been recruited to be representative of the UK population - as calculated for GB by the PAMCo– Audience Measurement for Publishers study and for NI by the RAJAR establishment survey. Ipsos has structured the panel sample to accurately represent BARB TV and Government Office Regions across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Online recruitment is conducted using a mixture of email, social media and online advertising techniques. Offline recruitment was planned to be achieved using face-to-face and telephone re-contacting of previous PAMCo survey respondents, however due to COVID-19, all face-to-face interviewing for PAMCo was put on hold. As a result, we are currently using postal and CATI for the offline recruitment.

Q. What demographics are available?

Demographics available for analysis include gender, age, social grade, working status, household composition and geographical area. Demographic details are collected via a recruitment questionnaire administered by Ipsos to all panellists when they join.

Q. What devices are measured?

PCs and Macs (Chrome, Firefox, IE/Edge and Safari browsers); tablets and smartphones (except Windows-based models and Blackberry) with iOS and Android operating systems, for both web browsing and app use. We aim to measure devices that account for at least 10% of all internet traffic.

Q. What plans are there to include devices not currently measured, e.g. Smart TVs, Smart Speakers?

Ipsos will continue working with UKOM and industry stakeholders to assess demand for additional devices and online content coverage and will develop relevant solutions as and when required.

Q. What is the panel breakdown by device?

These figures are targets based on the latest available data from the PAMCo Establishment Survey:

Smartphone – c.95%

Computer – c.82%

Tablet – c.69%

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

Yes. Ipsos iris directly applies device overlap as observed in its single-source panel to its hybrid (panel-census combined) dataset, meaning that users can access both unduplicated all-device and individual device-type data.

Q. How are smaller sites and apps measured?

Tagging sites and apps ensures that they are accurately measured, no matter how small their audiences. Untagged content is still reported if it is accessed by at least 20 panel members in a calendar month - but given the limitations of panels, its reported audience is likely to be lower than if it were tagged. Panels, for instance, tend to under-represent out-of-home usage at work and in educational establishments.

Q. How is panel and census data combined?

In order to successfully combine panel and census inputs into respondent level data, Ipsos develop synthetic populations as 'containers' for data. This involves a series of steps including ascription, expansion and fusion to produce the end-level database. Where sites or apps are tagged, activity from the panel is matched to census data to accurately project daily, weekly, and monthly audiences. Publishers not allowing third party tags on their properties have to rely on panel data only to measure performance, as long as the site or app meets the panel Minimum Required Sample size of 20 in the calendar month.

Tagging

Q. What is the tagging process?

For sites and apps to be measured in census data Ipsos iris requires new tags to be added. (Tags from previous UKOM suppliers cannot be used.) As a first step, the publisher agrees their site and app reporting structures with Ipsos, who then provide appropriate site tag code or app SDKs. After the publisher has installed these tags, Ipsos verify that they are working properly. When the publisher signs and returns their tagging agreement, data collection for their tagged entities can begin.

Q. Do all of my digital brands need to be tagged even though there will be panel-based audience measurement data?

The tagging of online properties provides full census-based daily estimates of use. Any sites or apps that are not tagged can be reported via the panel if sample size permits (minimum 20 panellists in a calendar month). However, in these cases, Ipsos will not have content-centric census-based audience measures to weight estimates to. 

Q. What happens if I am unable to tag?

Ipsos are exploring providing a server-to-server site log-based solution which will allow similar functionality to tagging, with the approval of UKOM. With publisher permission and co-operation, they can also serve web intercept surveys to calibrate audience profiles and key behaviours for tagged sites, site sections and apps that fall below the panel Minimum Required Sample size of 20 in a calendar month.

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