Measurement and metrics basically fall into two categories: Panel & Survey based, or Census based.
Panel and Survey based measurement and metrics are basically an estimate. One person may be representative of 100 or 500 or 1,000 people...it really depends on the underlying methodology. This includes their media consumption (what, when and how much), age and gender group, and location. But remember, this is an estimation based on a single individual representing some larger group. Through the wonders of statistical attribution, we end up with a somewhat defensible estimate of media consumption. Panel & Survey based estimates are what Nielsen and Arbitron provide for broadcast television and radio respectively.
On the other hand, we have Census based measurement and metrics. Census based data are the real numbers, where 1 equals 1. There are no estimates involved. Census data will tell you that a thirty-five year old male, living in zip code 02069, consumed exactly three hours of media on Monday, and another four hours of media on Tuesday. Additionally, on Monday he listened to one hour of Hot AC, and switched to Classic Rock for the other two hours. On Tuesday, he listened to Classic Rock for the entire 4 hours. During his listening on Monday, his Hot AC and Classic Rock were interspersed with a total of eighteen ads. During one ad with a synchronized banner, he clicked on the banner to be driven to the sponsor's website. This is Census based data...the type measured and reported on by Triton Digital.
How do we get all this Census based data on media consumption? Through registration. In the streaming world, Pandora and Slacker require registration to consume their streams. They each ask for a gender, year of birth and a zip code. Terrestrial streamers are toying with the idea of registration, but are already far behind their Pureplay competitors. Come on guys…catch up. Your streams are valuable to your consumers...you've built a brand that they return to day in and day out...go ahead...ask them for some additional information!
Finally, if you're an advertiser or agency, why in the world aren't you sinking more dollars into such an accountable media? Sure, streaming is in its infancy, but there are already significant numbers out there. The measurement and metrics are fairly mature, and actually are MRC accredited! What are we waiting for?