In doing some more digging, Quantcast has a bit of a hill to climb. A free service to advertisers and ad agencies, Quantcast has not yet determined its long-termed revenue model. For now it is simply trying to build content and loyal usership.
In a January 4th 2007 ClickZ article by Zachary Rogers entitled: New Site Ratings Service Aims for the Long Tail, David Smith of MediaSmith, who has tested Quantcast extensively, admits that while Quantcast offers visibility on millions of sites, the data is far from perfect. “The general rule is the larger the site, the more accurate the data, but there are always cases where the data is more or less accurate because of biases,” according to Quantcast’s CEO Konrad Feldman.
Recognizing that many [smaller] agencies and advertisers can’t afford research services, Quantcast seems to be committed to providing its information for free, at least for the time being. Whether they try to move into the media buying space or somehow otherwise insert themselves into the agency’s activities in an attempt to generate revenue through the provision of their data through another means is far off. For now they are keen to acquire the content and build the brand loyalty. A model that is familiar to all of us. Who knows, perhaps it will be the publishers who they will ask to pay down the road if they can demonstrate the value!
In a January 16th blog posting, Zachary Rogers followed up on his article with Quantcast Launches Keyword Research Tool where like the publisher tool, the new keyword tool “…turns up warnings about data too scarce to be reliable, so the feature clearly has a long way to go.”
Still in its infancy, Quantcast has work to do. The depth of data and inconsistency of results will not leave users feeling that they can rely on it permanently. So the audience will remain those who can not afford the more widely accepted applications until that changes. So a warning to those who I had previously advised to engage this product in my post, David Smith and The Medium is the Metric for Online Ads, this one may not quite be ready for primetime – hence the word beta.
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