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08.03.09

comScore Crawls into Bed with Microsoft

Posted in Finance, Google, Microsoft, Search at 5:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Pie chart

Summary: comScore, which provides some Web analytics, has Microsoft money on its table

ACCORDING to a new announcement, this company which tracks search engine market share is entering Microsoft’s bedroom, so to speak.

Microsoft Corp. announced it is collaborating with comScore Inc. to develop a digital media planning solution, named the Reach and Frequency Planner (RF Planner), which will allow brand advertisers to predict reach, frequency and audience composition at the ad placement level.

This is important to point out because Microsoft has already been caught paying to pretend that its search engine gained market share when in fact it was losing some. These firms don’t just put numbers out there, they have clients. They have conflicts of interests and they can change how/what they measure in order to glamourise clients. There are many ways of selecting and presenting statistical data. See our take on Netcraft [1, 2, 3] and what we found out about Net Applications, e.g.:

In another new press release from comScore, they state:

We are particularly excited about the recently announced integration of comScore’s data with Microsoft’s Atlas ad serving system to provide improved reach and frequency metrics for online media planning and analysis based on actual ad placement.

[...]

Cautionary Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including, without limitation, comScore’s expectations regarding the continued growth of its customer base; expectations regarding customer renewal rates, particularly with respect to different sizes and types of customers and expected seasonal variations; expectations regarding the capabilities, impact and financial benefits of new products, including the recent Media Metrix 360 release; expectations regarding new partnering opportunities, including comScore’s recent agreement for the Microsoft Atlas system; assumptions and expectations regarding effective tax rates and the use and availability of net operating loss carry-forwards; expectations regarding the outcome of cost containment measures and the resulting effect on comScore’s margins and strategic priorities; expectations and forecasts of future financial performance, including related growth rates and components thereof; assumptions related to costs and revenue growth for the third quarter and the full year 2009; expectations that comScore will meet or exceed its forecasts of financial performance in future periods; and assumptions related to the state of the economy and the global market environment. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially, including, but not limited to: comScore’s reliance on subscription-based revenues; comScore’s ability to retain existing large customers and obtain new large customers; risks related to the domestic and global economies and the effects they may have on comScore, its industry or its customers; the early stage of the market for digital marketing intelligence and the rate of development of such market; comScore’s ability to manage its growth; comScore’s dependence on certain key customers and partners, including Microsoft; the rate of development of the Internet advertising and eCommerce markets; comScore’s ability to effectively expand sales and marketing; continued growth of the Internet as a medium for commerce, content, advertising and communications; the impact of seasonal variations on comScore’s operations; comScore’s ability to sell new or additional products and attract new customers; limitations over comScore’s control of certain variables in financial forecasts such as its stock price and the resulting effect on its tax rates; and the volatility of quarterly results and expectations.

The partnership with Microsoft is also covered in:

Any future output from comScore will be highly suspect. They have Microsoft money on their table and Microsoft is no ordinary company because it’s a repeat offender.

Now that Yahoo is called a "Microsoft zombie", there will be plenty of room for bumping statistics up and down. This deal was so bad for Yahoo! that the stock continues falling.

Yahoo gets hard look from investors following deal

Even as the broader market rallied, Yahoo shares dropped as much as 6 percent on Thursday. The stock recovered a little in late trading, but is still down 14 percent since the agreement was announced on Wednesday morning.

To Microsoft, the fight against Google may be a struggle for long-term survival, so other bogus ‘Web surveys’ that work against Google unsurprisingly come from former Microsoft employees, assisted by the Seattle press. TechDirt links to “The Case Against the Case Against Google” — an article that arrives from a Microsoft-oriented magazine/Web site [1, 2].

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