comScore Networks Acquires SurveySite

In its second purchase of an online survey company in six months, comScore Networks acquired Toronto-based SurveySite for an undisclosed amount.

Known for its A-list of technology clients, including Microsoft and Dell, as well as Target, ABN AMRO, Pfizer, Scotiabank, and Procter & Gamble, SurveySite brings a 200,000-person survey panel under comScore’s umbrella. The deal expands comScore’s survey staff by 50 employees, for a total survey team of 80.

Effective immediately, SurveySite will operate as division of comScore Networks under the name comScore SurveySite. The acquired company’s president, Jeff Hohner, was named president of the new division.

comScore acquired Q2 Brand Intelligence, which conducted surveys across a variety of categories, including retail, travel, and technology, in August 2004.

Together, the two acquisitions raise comScore’s permanent staff to over 300 employees. Layoffs are not planned, comScore said.

“One thing we liked about SurveySite is their ability to build their own survey technology from scratch,” said Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore Networks. “Adding that to Q2’s reach across a wide number of verticals, we are very happy with these two deals. Together, they reflect our attempt to address the needs of our clients, as a fundamental shift continues to move the research business from offline to online.”

Fulgoni estimates the size of the U.S. custom research market at $3.5 billion, with 30 percent of that research conducted online. The online survey industry will continue to grow at an annual rate of roughly 25 percent for some time, cannibalizing what was once the undisputed realm of telephone and direct mail surveys, he added.

The two acquisitions complement comScore’s already extensive consumer behavioral research with the ability to target consumer motivations and preferences directly through the online survey format, said Fulgoni.

“To be able to ask a direct question to the consumer and get an answer is a very valuable adjunct to the behavioral measurement,” Fulgoni said.

As a result of the two completed acquisitions, comScore predicts its survey-based revenues will double this year compared to 2004.

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