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Fairfax withdraws from Nielsen measurement

Fairfax Media’s metro business has decided not to renew its contract with Nielsen following increasing disagreement surrounding measurement, instead deciding to audit its own data independently.

Mastheads within the publisher’s metropolitan media business, including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and the Australian Financial Review, will no longer be measured as part of Nielsen’s daily ratings.

A Fairfax Media spokesperson said: “Fairfax’s digital innovation is far outpacing standard audience measurement metrics. Our leading-edge digital publishing platforms now provide us direct and instant audience insights for our metropolitan mastheads.”

Disagreement is understood to have centred on measurement of Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (Google AMP) products and secure HTTPS sites, which is reflected in the final audience figures in the ratings.

Google AMP enables publishers to load pages faster for readers, and is used widely by Australian media, including The Guardian, Bauer Media and The Daily Mail.

The HTTPS format protects user data while browsing and is used by many Australian publishers, including News Corp Australia, Nine.com.au and Yahoo7.

“We will use our rich data – and have it independently audited – to provide advertisers with a complete picture of our high-quality, highly-engaged digital audiences,” the Fairfax spokesman said. “Accordingly, Fairfax’s metro business has decided not to continue its commercial relationship with Nielsen.”

Fairfax is yet to make clear how its internal data will be independently audited. Data provided by Enhanced Media Metrics Australia (emma) will not change.

Other Fairfax assets currently being recorded by Nielsen, such as the group’s regional network, will not be affected by the change.

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