If you thought tracking media consumption in 2014 would be easier thanks to leaps in technology, think again. In the old days companies like Nielsen tracked household media consumption with boxes plugged into a few thousand "average" homes across a market to see what TV channels people were tuning into. While today internet-enabled cable boxes can send data back to broadcasters, we've spread out where we consume our media massively. According to a media tracking company with Finnish roots, Verto Analytics, more than 55% of US consumers use more than four devices to access the internet - meaning things like game consoles, tablets, smart TVs, smartphones, and other plugged-in devices with "smart" in the name.
The data out there is messy. Today's digital industry has no solid methods to get timely measurement data, as companies like gaming companies or device vendors have to rely on survey data or other "soft" methodologies to see where eyeballs are. This hole is what Verto is going for, drawing from a number of proprietary data sources and new technologies to provide cover both platform and media ecosystems.
"Verto Analytics is one of the first Finnish digital measurement players that is set out to disrupt and dominate the global data business, the purpose of which is to guide the relevant industry players in decision making, by making available the right kind of measurement data and business intelligence solutions, that digital marketers can use to target advertising spending better, hardware vendors can use to understand competition, and mobile gaming companies can use to measure their audiences in different markets," says Dr. Verkasalo in an email. "The quicker the evolution takes place in the digital world, and the more complexity and money there is, the more important the solutions and data from Verto becomes in the market place."
There's big money being pumped into companies that can track all these new forms of media, and yesterday Verto Analytics announced it's raised a $5.4 million funding round led by Helsinki-based Conor Venture Partners. With the funding, Verto says they will be extending their current research products to a syndicated direction, and will expand geographically. Currently Verto is Headquartered in New York, with offices in Switzerland and Finland.
This could be a company to watch. CEO Dr. Hannu Verkasalo founded Zokem, the mobile analytics platform acquired by Arbitron (now Nielsen Audio). With a big round in their pocket, it will be interesting to track their statistics.