Online Panel Will Add U.S. Users, Reach 1 Million

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Nielsen//NetRatings will extend to the United States its ambitious MegaPanel service that now measures the online actions of Internet users in Britain, France and Germany.

Adding U.S. users in the second quarter will raise the number of users participating in the panel to 1 million, Nielsen//NetRatings said, though the company would not break down how many users will come from each country. This is arguably one of the largest Internet user samples in place.

MegaPanel users will be tracked and surveyed in key markets, reflecting a cross-section of home, work and university online users. There will be detailed measurement and analysis of activities on every site visited, incorporating finance and e-commerce transactions.

Finally, the panel will allow comparison of the relationship between online and offline consumer behavior via customized surveys conducted on the Internet in real time. Pop-ups and e-mail will be used.

Nielsen//NetRatings selects people to join the panel based on computer-generated telephone numbers.

Nielsen//NetRatings' latest product is not to be confused with its NetView Internet audience measurement service.

"What that brings is a media-quality sample which absolutely minimizes any skews or biases -- you cannot opt in to that panel, so it's not self-selecting," said Sean Kaldor, vice president of marketing at NetRatings Inc., Milpitas, CA.

Other products in the company portfolio include AdRelevance online advertising intelligence for use only in the United States; @Plan, a target-marketing platform for Internet media planning, buying and selling, again for U.S. use; and WebRF, a tool for online research and frequency.

The company also offers analytical services for custom analyses and research.

Ultimately, MegaPanel research is intended to help Nielsen//NetRatings clients examine market share by spending and online shopping growth trends as well as analyze online and offline buying patterns. Pricing is customized to client needs.

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