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comScore, Inc. is a global leader in measuring the digital world. This capability is based on a massive, global cross-section of approximately 2 million Internet users who have given comScore permission to confidentially capture their browsing and transaction behavior, including details of their online and offline purchasing. comScore panelists also participate in survey research that captures and integrates their attitudes and intentions. Through its proprietary technology, comScore measures what matters across a broad spectrum of behavior and attitudes. comScore analysts apply this deep knowledge of customers and competitors to help clients design powerful marketing strategies and tactics that deliver superior ROI.

We have built a marketing intelligence platform that provides an information currency to help our customers optimize the use and power of the Internet.

At the core of our business, we provide a granular tracking of online behavior on a global and individual country basis, supplying our clients with a measurement of the size, characteristics and behavior of Web site audiences. We also help answer important marketing issues such as:
  • What is the trend in my market share?
  • How fast is my market growing?
  • From which sites am I attracting visitors?
  • How much business am I losing to competitors?
  • How effective are my customer acquisition strategies relative to those of my competitors?
  • Am I utilizing search marketing less effectively then my competitors?

We also measure cause and effect. As an example, marketers need to know if their investment in online media helps build their business and, ultimately, increases sales. comScore delivers this critical information. Publishers use this information to sell advertising; marketers use it to measure the ROI from their advertising spending.

comScore has built a blue chip list of clients that represents a "Who's Who?" of Internet companies and leaders in virtually all consumer-facing vertical industries. We also have a strong position with approximately 100 advertising agencies -- an industry sector that has significant influence over which audience measurement services are used by publishers and advertisers.

Our customers include:

  • 5 of the top 6 cable companies
  • 7 of the top 10 credit card companies
  • 5 of the top 6 consumer banks
  • 7 of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies

comScore services are used by more than 750 clients, including global leaders such as AOL, Yahoo!, BBC, Carat, Deutsche Bank, France Telecom, Best Buy, The Newspaper Association of America, Financial Times, ESPN, Fox Sports, Nestle, Starcom, Universal McCann, United States Postal Service, Verizon, and ViaMichelin.
We deliver our digital marketing intelligence platform through our comScore Media Metrix product family and through comScore Marketing Solutions.

comScore Media Metrix provides intelligence on digital media usage, including a measurement of the size, behavior and characteristics of the audiences for individual Web sites and advertising networks within the global home, work and university Internet user populations, as well as insight into the effectiveness of online advertising. The comScore Media Metrix product family includes worldwide site audience measurement services under the comScore World Metrix brand name, media planning services from comScore Plan Metrix, audience ratings for streaming video through comScore Video Metrix, and a measurement of the viewing of online ads through comScore Ad Metrix.

Our Marketing Solutions products combine the proprietary information gathered from our user panel with the industry expertise of comScore analysts to deliver digital marketing intelligence customized for specific industries. We provide enterprise customers with measures of market share, loyalty, customer acquisition, retention and satisfaction, as well as the measurement of advertising effectiveness through comScore Campaign Metrix.
comScore's main competitor is Nielsen NetRatings. We differentiate ourselves through a large panel size of approximately 2 million users; global coverage that includes 32 individually reportable countries, providing a harmonized view of Internet behavior on a world-wide basis; a broad set of services and metrics that are tailored to specific individual industries; and a disciplined focus on the introduction of innovative new measurement services. These strategies have allowed us to capture an industry-leading U.S. market share of 59 percent in 2006.

We differentiate ourselves through our statistically representative panel that includes online activity at all Internet Service Providers (ISPs); our global reporting capability; our ability to measure online and offline buying activity; our comprehensive measurement of search activity; and our ability to provide media planning metrics that are demanded by marketers and their advertising agencies, such as the number of unique visitors to individual Web sites.
  • A two-year lead over competitors in terms of historical data, product development and relevancy of service offerings.

  • World class technology that operates on a massive operational scale and which includes one of the world's largest Windows-based data warehouse (157 TB of storage). We use a distributed processing architecture with a standardized, modular data center that allows us to expand linearly at a low incremental system and bandwidth cost and which has the inherent flexibility to allow us to measure the expanding set of activities that are occurring online.

  • An opt-in consumer panel consisting of approximately 2 million members across over 150 countries that enables us to measure Internet usage on a worldwide basis. We continuously collect a comprehensive set of data from these panelists – using passive measurement — that provides an accurate view of online behavior. For example, we can measure what happens when consumers are exposed to an ad, how much of their purchasing is immediate versus latent, at what sites the buying occurs and how much of their buying occurs online versus offline.

  • A blue-chip customer base of more than 750 clients spanning multiple consumer-facing industries.

  • Strong brand equity developed in part as a result of comScore data being frequently cited in the financial and popular press. comScore data are quoted in the media as frequently as 100 times per day.

  • A strong track record of innovation highlighted by the fact that comScore was first to:

    • Build a longitudinal panel of more than 2 million people along with the associated data collection and statistical projection systems
    • Measure and report on e-commerce
    • Measure the search market (qSearch)
    • Measure global online behavior (comScore World Metrix)
    • Measure online video streaming (comScore Video Metrix)
    • Measure the online audience for widgets
    • Measure ad effectiveness using behavioral data (Campaign Metrix)

  • A robust, profitable and recurring-revenue business model that is subscription-based with strong operating leverage, resulting in excellent operating cash flow-through as revenue grows.

  • An experienced management team with a track record of building world-class public information companies and thereby creating substantial shareholder value.
In addition to comScore benefiting from strong external market growth, we are also a critical enabler of the use and monetization of the Internet. Through our broad portfolio of products, market insights and innovation, comScore has played a role in helping drive the shift of marketing dollars from traditional media to the Internet. Our ability to measure the impact of Internet marketing on buying behavior has helped provide the industry with positive proof of advertising effectiveness and ROI. In turn, this has helped drive more marketers to invest in e-commerce and spend more on digital media. As the leading provider of global digital marketing intelligence, we believe that comScore is positioned to continue to realize significant growth from the commercial use of the Internet and other digital formats (e.g., mobile, VoIP, IP television). Over the near-term, we expect comScore's growth to be generated as a result of the following strategies:

  • Deepen the relationships with our current blue-chip customer base.
  • Grow our customer base as the digital media, commerce, marketing and communications sectors continue to grow.
  • Expand our digital marketing intelligence platform by extending our track record of innovation with new product offerings.
  • Extend our technology leadership by leveraging the scalability and functionality of our database and computational infrastructure.
  • Build our brand awareness through increased media exposure.
  • Grow internationally.
  • We primarily provide subscription-based products with strong recurring revenue streams.
  • comScore has established a strong track record of profitability.
  • Our subscription customer retention rate exceeds 90%, which means high visibility into future revenue growth.
  • We enjoy significant operating leverage with relatively low investment required to maintain our panel and technology infrastructure and to support future growth.
  • comScore has low product development costs.
  • comScore is not capital intensive and has minimal debt.
  • Our global infrastructure is already established through a 2 million person panel (approximately 1 million in the U.S. and 1 million overseas), an installed, world-class technology platform, a proven and growing product portfolio, and a commercial team and corporate staff in place to support strong worldwide growth.
The use of Web log data (aka Web site server data) to measure the number of unique visitors to a site relies on cookies (small text-based identifiers) that are placed on the computers of site visitors, and which determine if the visitor is a new or repeat user of the site. However, since users have the ability to easily clear cookies from their computers (increasingly prevalent today because of the use of anti-spyware software), this approach is vulnerable to significant error if the rate of cookie deletion is meaningful. In June 2007, comScore published the results of a seminal study of cookie deletion, which showed that 30% of Internet users clear their cookies in a month. Among these cookie deleters, we observed 5 different cookies for the same site over the course of a month. These results mean that a count of unique site visitors derived from Web site server logs will typically overstate the true number by at least 150%.

There are three additional sources of error in using Web site server data to measure the size of a site's audience:
  • It is not uncommon for an Internet user to use a work computer and a home computer to visit the same site. Using cookies, the site's server data will count this one user as two distinct visitors, thereby inflating the estimated size of the site's audience.
  • Many sites attract visitors from outside the U.S., and in order to accurately measure the size of a U.S. visitor base, these International visitors must be excluded. This is difficult to accomplish on a consistent basis because it is often not possible to accurately identify the specific location of a visiting computer. Because of this, many Web site server logs do not accurately filter out International traffic from their claimed U.S. visitor counts, resulting in further inflation of the size of the claimed U.S. audience.
  • Automated 'spiders' and 'bots' that crawl the Web account for an increasingly large amount of traffic on the Web. Web logs must be properly configured to adjust for this activity and the inflation it causes in counts of a site's unique visitors and pages downloaded.

comScore's panel-based methodology does not rely on cookies and, instead, monitors the actual behavior of each computer in the comScore sample with knowledge of the location of each machine (i.e. work versus home and Domestic versus International) and the individual using the machine. As a result, comScore is able to provide an accurate and unbiased measurement of the size of a Web site's audience.

The problem of cookie deletion also plagues the use of ad servers that use cookies to measure the reach and frequency of an online ad campaign. comScore's cookie deletion study showed that an ad server will, on average, overstate the reach of the campaign by 150% and understate the frequency by a similar amount. comScore's panel methodology monitors the actual number of ads delivered to each computer in the comScore sample without requiring the use of cookies and as a result comScore more accurately reports the reach and frequency of any online ad campaign.
Web log analytical software is used to report the activity of users on a web site but they have no ability to monitor the behavior of site visitors when the visitors leave the site. As a result, log analytics are incapable of proving site operators with any holistic understanding of the behavior of their user base across the Internet. On the other hand, comScore data provides a 360 degree view of Web-wide behavior, allowing site operators to understand the source and loss of their site traffic, their market share, the performance of their competitors, the trends in their category and to gain other important market intelligence.

In addition, comScore's panel-based measurement is not affected by cookie deletion rates or the activity of automated 'spiders' or 'bots', and is able to accurately report on U.S. versus International traffic.

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Stock Information

May 22, 2015
$56.26   + 0.28
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