More media, more data, more confusion?

Date of publication: June 15, 1992

Company: Procter & Gamble

Author: Thomas Neumann


In the 90’s, the tendency to more media choice will continue. The paper develops the challenges for media research in the 1990s. A key development will be the move to European data, i.e. audience data fully comparable between European countries. This is most important on TV, but also radio and print should be taken care of. A move from purely descriptive to explanatory research can be expected to answer the growing need to explain why rather than just the how. There will be also the need for more specific information, e.g. minute by the minute rather than quarter-hour data in TV. In print, information on page exposure rather than total issue exposure will become standard. The enormous increase in the amount of data available will require improved methods to analyze these data and draw the correct conclusions. The data will also change from isolated to integrated data, e.g. to cover the exposure to several media within one report. Media research - similar to other research - will have to take care of even more data privacy. There is a major opportunity to educate the population about the needs and benefits of media research because the major financers of such research have access to the public. Media research will become more capital intensive because of increasing use of technical means of measurement As a specific aspect, little opportunity is seen for the passive people meter in Europe for various reasons, last not least the public relation risk. Competition on the research supplier side is seen as an important need. Improving the harmonization of research methods should not lead to monopolistic structures on the supplier side.

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