Online audience measurement firm comScore underreported data on Yahoo’s page views and duration metrics for June, the companies announced today.
According to a press release issued by Yahoo, its U.S. page views were down 4.7 percent, month-over-month, not 7.4 percent as reported by comScore. In addition, the average period of time users spent on its properties was down 4.3 percent, not 6.4 percent. In real numbers, Yahoo’s audience was underreported by more than 1 billion page views and its duration metrics by approximately 850 million minutes.
The error concerned traffic to Yahoo’s news, sports, finance, TV, movies, music, and health properties. Overall, it affected data for a total of seven territories, including Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and the U.K. As a result, comScore’s aggregated E.U. and worldwide data will also be impacted.
In a blog post published today, comScore’s EVP of Marketing and global development, Linda Boland Abraham, said the company regretted the error, but that it was “an isolated, one-time error that did not affect any other client’s data.” She added that the firm has identified steps to ensure similar errors could be prevented in future, but the company declined to give any further information detailing exactly what the error was, or how it occurred.
In Yahoo’s release, CEO Carol Bartz said keeping its users as engaged as possible is central to everything it does. “We issued this release because it’s important that our business partners, advertisers, and shareholders have an accurate, independent third-party measurement of our performance,” she said.
The fact remains, however, that even with the updated numbers Yahoo still experienced a substantial reduction in the amount of time U.S. users spent with its properties in June, dropping by 4.3 percent overall.
Going forward, Bartz said Yahoo retained confidence in comScore’s reporting, stating the company believes it is “committed to addressing the error and ensuring accurate and reliable reporting of marketplace performance.” She added, however, that it would seek to work collaboratively with comScore to develop policies and practices “to ensure the timely correction of inaccurate information.”
comScore declined to provide any further information on how the error occurred, or what processes have been identified to prevent further misreporting of this nature.
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