As Data Wars Heat Up, Quantcast Goes Global

LISBON, PORTUGAL– After last year’s wave of data consolidation, marketers are chomping at the bit to better target consumers not only in the U.S., but also worldwide.

To help satisfy their hunger, audience measurement firm Quantcast has taken steps to give its audience measurement service an international focus. With the move, the firm – which provides Web analytics, audience profiling, and media buying services – will deliver its audience insights product in formats that are localized for every country.

Quantcast CEO Konrad Feldman spoke to ClickZ after a presentation at the International Conference on Online Media (I-COM). He characterized the move as a step toward better facilitating the global needs of existing companies employing its service. However, his comments also indicate that American brands are looking to capitalize on increasingly well-fed data platforms while setting their sights on international consumers.

“Many media companies are increasingly global,” he said. “Many of them were already using our service to understand their audience in the U.S. because they [want to] monetize that.”

Quantcast’s expanded metrics service is free of charge, as are big-picture reports by competitors like comScore and Nielsen. Feldman said the U.S. data-points customers have come to know will eventually be made available in the international offering. The firm’s service has been designed to segment consumer data according to traffic numbers, lifestyle/demographics, and geographical info. Some, but not all, of the segments are now available for the international version.

“Certain demographics like age and gender are universal,” Feldman said. “But, things like education levels or ethnicity are different for different places. So, we will be adding more of those sorts of things over time.”

Since it launched four years ago, Feldman’s company has mounted a growing assault on a market historically dominated by comScore and Nielsen. It has succeeded in part because publishers have often felt the incumbents’ panel-based approaches undercount their audiences – ultimately damaging their sales efforts. Recently, ComScore responded with its own direct measurement product – a paid one – which set off a public dispute between the companies.

ClickZ is a media sponsor of the I-COM conference. Our travel and accommodation expenses were paid by the event’s producers.

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