GRAB YOUR RESEARCH PARTNER AND DO-SI-DO;ASI WILL GO ANYWHERE WITH NIELSEN, SNUBBING ARBITRON-LED VENTURE

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As quickly as the players in the online media world are changing, so are the relationships among those who hope to measure them.

Not long after Arbitron NewMedia, Next Century Media and ASI Market Research announced a partnership to measure so-called "clickstream" data, Nielsen Media Research, Yankelovich Partners and ASI came together to form ANYwhere Online, a strategic partnership to develop a range of research services for measuring online media.

As a result, ASI is expected to drop out of the Arbitron and Next Century partnership. The sudden change in market research alliances is just the first round in what is likely to be an ongoing shuffle of partners as companies place their new-media bets.

Nielsen and ASI, for example, followed their ANYwhere announcement with a second partnership to develop a new infomercial measurement system, and Nielsen is believed to be talking with a wide variety of other partners-as well as eyeing potential acquisition targets-to augment its role in the burgeoning interactive-media industry.

ANYwhere takes its name from the first letters of each partner and reflects the venture's goal of tracking new-media services across various platforms, with an initial focus on measuring quantitative and qualitative aspects of the Internet.

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