While many people who start online ventures are concerned with their own Web site’s audience demographics and frequency of visits, Quantcast Corp. is looking at everybody else’s stats.
Beginning Sept. 19 anyone can visit www.quantcast.com and see site traffic measures including unique visitors per month and visitor frequency, as well as audience characteristics, gender, head of household age, level of education, income and ethnicity for any URL.
“[Web publishers] have worked really hard to develop a specific audience to their site,” said Conrad Feldman, CEO of Quantcast, San Francisco. “We want to get people using the system and to work with publishers to better articulate the value of their audience.”
The free service is an attempt to bring the audience forecasting ability that is usually reserved for television ad purchasing to the Internet.
“Internet ad growth is strong, particularly around search and keywords,” Mr. Feldman said. “Brand based advertising hasn’t moved online to the same extent. For advertisers it’s difficult to do a $10 million ad buy online, but it’s not difficult to do on television.”
Similar to television, the Quantcast feature uses panel-based analysis that uses Internet usage logs. Additional metrics intuit the demographics of the user on a household basis. The stats are published along with a confidence rating.
In order to improve the confidence of the report, publishers can place a Quantcast pixel on their site to better measure trafic. This particularly benefits small sites that do not have the research resources to run their own stats, Mr. Feldman said.
The only service Quantcast will charge users for is an Audienc Search Engine, a tool for publishers to find appropriate Web sites to reach target audiences based on key demograohics. The company offers all its research at no charge hoping to ultimately change the way business is done on the Web.
“Demographics and psychographics have never become currency as they are to TV, only because they aren’t widely available yet,” Mr. Feldman said.