Monday, August 11, 2008

Digital Data Merchants

“7 million Americans searched for Apple's iPhone on the Net in April 2008 alone.”
“27 million people watched more than 3.5 billion videos online in UK in March 2008.”
“11 billion videos were watched online in US, in April 2008.”

“Internet audience grew in India by a whopping 27% from April 2007 to April 2008 -the highest in the Asia-pacific region.”

Now, reading the above lines makes one wonder how it is possible to collect data like this. And who keeps track of this information.

Well, its interesting to note that today, there are companies spending thousands of dollars on thousands of employees to keep track of information like this. All aimed at understanding the cyber world to help businesses and individuals in decision making.

I found out that while an organization like 'IDC' - International Data Corporation -keeps on its research of information technology companies and markets, there are organizations like 'ComScore' which maintain massive proprietary databases that provide continuous, real-time measurement of the several ways in which the Internet is used.

IDC provides global market intelligence on IT companies and IT markets around the world. And this Business Intelligence and the Analytics can be downloaded or bought at a price by the information-seeking organizations. The price could seem very high at first, but when compared to the value they have to offer, and when compared to the amount of research-effort that has gone into it, it would be fully justified.

IDC is actually a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. Founded in 1964, IDG had 2006 revenues of $2.84 billion and has more than 13,000 employees worldwide. It offers the widest range of media options which reach more than 120 million technology buyers in 85 countries representing 95% of worldwide IT spending.

The world’s huge amount of IT spending makes the need for well-researched information very relevant. And the need is being ably met by companies like IDC.

ComScore is a company that measures the digital world. Its core competency is the measurement of the usage of internet around the world. How does an internet user behave? What does he search for? What does he buy online? What does he listen to? What videos does he view? Which websites are the most trafficked? Which products are the most searched for?

Answers to most of these questions can be found in the output of continuous surveys and studies published by ComScore. This information is now extremely critical for marketing decisions by companies that want to reach specific market segments, with specific internet habits.

Market research agencies used to rule the roost at one time. They still do, but with lesser significance now. Because, these days, the new researchers are on the rise. These cyber data vendors. These data-sellers whom you can’t ignore in a world that is fast getting wrapped in the digital media.

In these days of pay-per-click advertising by Google or pay-by-click transactions by Paypal, who can ignore the need for up-to-date information on a host of things? Its is, therefore, from these research organizations that we learn that the world’s changing. Especially, the digital world. And that…

“Internet advertising spending in US has increased by 23.9% (to $7.1 billion) in Q1 of 2008 over the last year.”
“Google remains the leader in the U.S. with 24.8% of the Internet advertising market share.”
“US Internet Ad spend by 2012 is forecasted to be 16% of the total ad spend compared to the current 11% now.”

No comments: