General + Regulatory + Telecom + Media NewsVividata launches "game-changing" passive mobile measurement panel in Canada

Vividata launches “game-changing” passive mobile measurement panel in Canada

Not-for-profit consumer insights company Vividata is collaborating with several global leaders in audience measurement to launch a first-of-its-kind in Canada passive, mobile, consumer behaviour panel.

“I think it will be a game changer for media and consumer measurement in Canada,” Vividata president and CEO Pat Pellegrini told Broadcast Dialogue.

Using an app developed by market research tech company RealityMine, Vividata is collaborating with audience and opinion research specialist Ipsos, and digital data collection solutions expert Delvinia, to launch the panel. It will track how consumers are using their smart phones and tablets, including search, browsing, app use, ecommerce, and audio/video streaming with real-world location data.

Pellegrini says increasing demand from clients whose content was moving to digital platforms sparked the project.

“They wanted unduplicated reach and frequency on the media side, but they also wanted to know what consumers were doing online. It’s absolutely borne of necessity and desire from agencies, media companies and advertisers who want to know more about consumers and how they’re using their devices,” said Pellegrini.

Passive measurement isn’t completely new in Canada. Numeris predecessor BBM Canada introduced Personal People Meter technology in 2009.

Pellegrini, who has previously held VP of Research positions with BBM, Nielsen Audio, and Kantar, among other companies, says the new Vividata panel is different both in the state-of-the-art tech it relies on and the breadth of consumer information that will be collected.

“It’s the first-of-its-kind using this type of tech…being able to track what media they’re consuming, what apps they’re consuming, where they’re browsing, how they’re shopping…all of that consumer behaviour on a mobile device. You really need great passive technology and hence the collaboration with RealityMine,” said Pellegrini.

Vividata says data collected from the first 600 panelists will start to be released in the last quarter of 2019 with more studies to follow in 2020 and expansion of the panel to between 3,000 and 5,000 respondents. The resulting products will leverage data from the panel integrated with Vividata’s Survey of the Canadian Consumer and an expanding portfolio of specialized studies from Vivintel, including cannabis, esports, ethnicity, and others in development.

Pellegrini says the passive nature of the tech is showing signs of bucking industry challenges around recruitment with a pilot test this month resulting in a higher-than-anticipated pace of acceptance to join the panel.

“It reveals behaviour without having to bug respondents. I don’t think there’s the same issue as in cases where you’re putting something on a TV or putting equipment in a household. It’s a simple install and doesn’t affect the device at all,” explained Pellegrini. “The fact that you don’t have to do anything, you don’t have to answer any questions, it’s just running in the background providing data…that’s a huge step forward in the way passive measurement works.”

More accurate results

Pellegrini says due to the complexity of mobile behaviour, up until this point, it’s been difficult to measure by survey.

“I’ve done some research like this in the past, notably the Publishing and Data Research Forum, that compared the same respondents on what they did versus what they said they did. Those results showed you could not rely on them to remember their digital media behaviour. Frankly, it’s of such a high magnitude and frequency and complexity that today’s mobile media consumer just does so much on their smartphone. It’s the preferred way to access the internet, so the only way to capture it is passively.”

Pellegrini says if panel participants use a tablet extensively, they’ll also be asked to put the app on that device. However, the panel will primarily be made up of smartphone users.

“I think what we’re going to see in the data is more people using their smartphone for just about everything,” said Pellegrini.

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Connie Thiessen
Connie Thiessen
Connie has worked coast-to-coast as a reporter, editor, anchor and host at CKNW and News 1130 in Vancouver, News 95.7 and CBC in Halifax, and CFCW Edmonton, among other stations. With a passion for music, film and community service, she led News 95.7 to a 2013 Atlantic Journalism Award and regional RTDNA award for Best Radio Newscast. More recently, she was nominated for Music Journalist of the Year at Canadian Music Week 2019. To report a typo or error please email -

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