We are witnessing a media explosion worldwide and the question is: can media measurement companies run fast enough to keep up? Traditional media such as print, TV, radio, cinema and outdoor, have in recent years been joined by other platforms such as the internet and online gaming. Consumer generated media, for instance blogs, online communities, forums and social networks, are on the rise. There is a feverish search for effective point-to-point and tailored media, for personal and interactive communication. Metrics can provide certainty, and this means that research continues to play a role in audience measurement. Valuable information has been collected on media reach and exposure: initially this was done separately for each media and later on for several media at once. However, research also shows that these numbers say little about the impact on the consumer. What is the reader doing? Is the viewer really watching and is the listener really listening? Real success should be measured in terms of involvement, engagement, the quality of attention, and in terms of transactions and behaviour. Therefore, in addition to the traditional tools such as diaries and surveys, increasing use is being made of new technologies including portable people meters and PDAs. In this issue of Research World, Sheila Byfield and Adam Phillips guide us through the current media landscape. It is a snapshot because media and research will demand even more attention for real attention in the near future.