New internet rating system close

The online publishing industry has shortlisted two companies offering a new way of measuring web ratings and will make a final decision next week.

The online publishing industry has shortlisted two companies offering a new way of measuring web ratings and will make a final decision next week.

Xtra marketing director Chris Thompson says two market research vendors have made the final cut but he wouldn’t say whom. The chosen company will provide a way of measuring internet usage of major New Zealand websites. Thompson says it’s important that the major industry players will regard the system as an acceptable industry standard.

“It’ll be a bit like people-meters for television or ABC figures for the magazine industry. It will be an independent body which says ‘this is what’s going on on the internet.’ It should take some of the confusion out of the multiple statistics that have been floating around the market and give a base for comparison.”

Thompson says having a standard way of measuring internet usage might hopefully make it easier to see online advertising, but the major issue is that it will provide a method of comparing traffic on various websites.

The group of publishers includes TVNZ’s Nzoom website, Telecom's Xtra, Stuff owner INL, NZ Herald online publisher Wilson and Horton, IDGNet owner IDG Communications, NetGuide publishers Industrial Press and the Communications Agency of New Zealand, which represents advertising agencies.

The decision to get together was prompted by the closure of ACNielsen’s web ratings office in New Zealand last year. Most of the publishers subscribe to the service, which continues to measure the usage of 2900 home-based Kiwi users from Sydney. However online publishers want a system which also measures web surfing done at work.

Thompson describes AC Nielsen’s service as “the best of a bad bunch”.

The industry went out with an RFP three months ago and demands included the measurement of unique users and the time spent on each site, indications of traffic volume and demographic information on users.

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Tags web ratings

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