Media Metrix Merges With RelevantKnowledge

Internet audience measurement firms Media Metrix and RelevantKnowledge merged Monday.

A Media Metrix spokeswoman would not disclose any financial details. The company will be known as Media Matrix.

The alliance of Media Metrix and RelevantKnowledge will result in one of the largest Internet audience measurement companies. The merged company plans to provide coverage of all digital media, including the traffic of more than 15,000 Web sites and surfing habits of more than 40,000 Internet users. The data collected is compiled into monthly weekly reports and also fed in real time to subscribers.

Drew Ianni, online advertising analyst at Jupiter Communications, said the merger should help create a standard for Web audience measurement.

“Both companies are reputable but there’s been some back and forth about methodologies, how they measure and rank their findings. This will provide one flavor for a unified standard.”

The companies characterized the merger as a “response to industry demand for an objective, accurate and reliable standard in Internet and digital media audience measurement.” The companies said members of every online sector–including Web sites operators, advertisers, and measurement companies–have been pushing for a better system.

“The merger creates a company that answers the industry’s need for a single, accurate and reliable standard in Internet audience measurement,” said Mary Ann Packo, president of Media Metrix, Inc. “Such a standard is necessary, as the industry has acknowledged that audience measurement is the driving force of Internet growth.”

Another merger component is fierce competitiveness in the field, according to Ianni.

“As soon as Nielsen Media ramps up, it makes more sense for Media Metrix and Relevant to team together, building a strong relationship and leveraging their efforts.” Additional contenders in the field also include PC Data, according to Ianni.

Together Media Metrix and RelevantKnowledge have more than 250 clients, such as Microsoft, AOL, Intel, IBM, GM, Yahoo, Netscape, Excite, CNN, Disney and Amazon.com, in addition to ad agencies, financial institutions and technology companies. Media Metrix said its client companies combined represent roughly 85 percent of the total dollars spent on Internet advertising, marketing and e-commerce.

The companies plan to offer new services in addition to audience measurement, that will include e-commerce, local market ratings and analysis via real-time transmission. New special services will feature Ad Sales Network Reports, E-Commerce Measurement Services, Qualitative Research, a line of Software and Technology measurement services and special Industry Sector Market Reports.

“The merger of Media Metrix and RelevantKnowledge creates a product portfolio that is without peer,” said Jeff Levy, vice chairman and board member of Media Metrix.

“By combining our efforts, we have created the ability to provide our customers with a level of service far greater than either company could have provided working alone. The new Media Metrix will clearly play a leading role in shaping the industry standard for Internet audience measurement and enabling the growth of online advertising and e-commerce businesses.”

Contributed by Michele Masterson

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