On Wednesday I wrote a post around the mysterious stats coming out of Nielsen regarding 2 Fairfax properties … the VIne and Essential Baby.
“How come 60% of Essential Baby’s users are male, when if you look at gender splits across sites like Baby Centre and Bub Hub they’re generally 65%+ female?
“And how come 67% of The Vine – ie, the 18-29 targeting youth website – are over 35 years of age.”
I wasn’t making these numbers up – they’re part of the August Netview data.
Fairfax Trade Marketing Director, Melanie Dudgeon, came on and made the following statement …
“At this particular point in time, the Netview numbers for many smaller sites across the industry, including The Vine and Essential Baby, are not robust enough yet at a demographic level to give a good indication of actual audience breakdowns. This issue is something that Nielsen are working hard to rectify.”
Ok great … so what do Nielsen say about their demographic info not being “robust enough”. I emailed Megan Clarken who heads up Nielsen Online who had Stuart Pike get in contact with me.
And Nielsen back their data.
Pike: “Nielsen back’s the reliability of our demographics. As both John and yourself have alluded to previously in this thread there are many reasons why member data will differ from the overall data when it comes to demographics. Our overall data obviously includes all the visitors who drop by and read a single article as well as the core readership that no doubt represent the most active users of a site (this is presumably what any publisher would capture in their membership). When there is a particularly popular article that draws visitors from a demographic that is different to the core readership then it follows that the overall demographics that we report in NetView will skew away from the core readership.”
I’m happy as this has started some real debate. And its heading to being the most read post on this blog in almost 12 months. Thursday was a record day with over 1,000 visits.
The issue of measurement is an important one. I’m sure I’m not the only person wondering why Fairfax would question how robust the Netview data is when, as part of the IAB, it publicly backed the data.
Just adds more confusion to something that should be simple and transparent.