South Africa launches first online audience measurement panel

Digital Content

The Digital Media and Marketing Association (DMMA) is launching South Africa's first online audience measurement panel.

Implemented by Effective Measure, the DMMA's measurement supplier, the panel will be a recruited sample of South Africans whose web browsing activities will be monitored and measured using software downloaded and installed on their computers. This data, when combined with the current DMMA member information, will give advertisers a much clearer picture of the Total South African Internet Universe.

The DMMA Online Audience Measurement Panel will be a representative sample of the local online population, benchmarked against detailed data collected from Effective Measure.

Whilst it is too early to determine the exact size of the panel, it will definitely be in line with online audience measurement panels in similar markets around the world and is likely to number in the many thousands.

Panelist recruitment will be ongoing, ensuring South Africa has a continually evolving, healthy panel, which is consistent with the demographics and websites visited in South Africa over time.

"The panel is a definite step in the right direction for the South African digital marketplace", says Josh Adler, Head of the DMMA's Measurement Tender and CEO of Prefix. "For the first time we will have a view of South African browser activity on non DMMA member sites like facebook, Google and YouTube, allowing us to better understand the true size and appeal of the local digital market. Armed with this data we can give South African brands and advertisers a clearer idea of how many people and which audience segments they could be reaching by allocating more of their budgets to online advertising."

But while research gleaned from the panel will provide valuable insights, it is tagged based statistics that will remain the most reliable form of data. The DMMA will therefore be putting various checks in place to ensure that advertisers can easily tell the difference. Within Effective Measure, sites with panel only data will be classified as "not verified" and they will not be represented in Effective Measure's Advanced Demographic Media Planning Tool. Panel only data will also not be migrated across to Telmar and Media Manager.

The DMMA has just started the panel recruitment process and anticipates that Effective Measure will deliver the first set of data in Q3, 2011.