How Many People Did That Story Reach? It Depends Who’s Counting.
As digital publishers bet big on video in search of advertising riches, many believe that a traditional method of media measurement isn’t keeping up.
Publishers have long used “unique visitors” as a benchmark to compare the size of their website audiences and lure advertisers. But some media companies say the metric has become somewhat outmoded in an era when content is being disseminated widely on social media and other platforms.
Publishers such as BuzzFeed, Mic and PopSugar all publish video content directly on services such as Facebook and Instagram to capitalize on the massive scale and reach of those platforms. Since audiences for these videos don’t always visit publishers’ websites, they aren’t captured in unique visitor figures.
“That type of measurement used to work,” said Jonathan Carson, the president of Mic. “But over the last seven years, digital has moved to these more distributed approaches.”