NEWS10 August 2010

CIMM reaches agreement to fund US launch of Touchpoints multimedia survey

New business North America

US— The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) has reached an agreement with the Media Behaviour Institute (MBI) to fund a US version of the UK’s Touchpoints survey of consumer multimedia usage.

The survey of 1,000 men and women aged 18-54 will run from September to February. Participants will be equipped with an “eDiary” in which to record their media use at half-hour intervals over a 10-day period.

Respondents will be recruited from among those who have already taken part in the Survey of the American Consumer, an annual face-to-face study of 26,000 people run by MBI’s research partner Mediamark Research, which covers usage of nearly 6,000 product and service brands across 550 categories, along with magazines and newspaper readership, internet usage, TV viewership, national and local radio listening, Yellow Pages usage and out-of-home media exposure.

Both the eDiary data and the Survey of the American Consumer data will feed into a database to be used by media buyers as an integrated channel planning tool. In a statement, CIMM and MBI mentioned that the eDiary data will be fused with data from other media measurement services – though it’s not clear which ones yet beyond Mediamark’s magazine audience measurement research.

The likes of Nielsen (which measures TV, mobile and online), Arbitron (radio) and ComScore (internet and mobile) are potential contributors to the planning tool. MBI’s Jim Spaeth said contact had been made with other media measurement firms and interest expressed, but so far they remain uncommitted. Spaeth also confirmed that the aforementioned eDiaries will be in the form of iPhones equipped with a specially designed app, as previously showcased by MBI and Mediamark.

MBI’s deal with CIMM gives the members of the consortium – all of them major US media owners and advertisers, including AT&T, CBS, News Corporation, Procter & Gamble and Time Warner – exclusive, unlimited access to the database and channel planning tool for six months. Financial details have not been disclosed but the the Wall Street Journal previously quoted a $1m price tag for the research. Touchpoints cost £1m on its first outing in the UK in 2006.

CIMM managing director Jane Clarke (pictured) said: “We scoured the globe to find the most consumer-centric cross-platform approaches before identifying and initiating a thorough consultant-led study of UK Touchpoints. It is by far the most comprehensive and provides the best way to link cross-media measurement and understand media usage in the context of daily life activities.”