Metrics and measurement

The American Press Institute offers publishers software tools and guidance to help them measure their content in new ways and form data-driven strategies. Read more about our Metrics for News program here, and see other recent insights about metrics and measurement below.

Insight from one attempt to identify Facebook’s News Feed algorithm for users

How the News Feed serves up content is a code many publishers want to crack. Aram Zucker-Scharff writes about an experiment to see how the algorithm affects a user’s content sharing. For two weeks Zucker-Scharff ran everything he posted to Facebook through WordPress and PressForward, and in this piece he sorts through the analytics. While […]

Avoid misusing metrics by thinking about what the data shows

Chris Sutcliffe highlights the advice from speakers at the news:rewired conference in London about appropriately integrating data into news organizations’ workflow to inform their work. That advice includes: recognize your core audience’s value and avoid diluting it with “low-value” audience, consider emphasizing real-time monitoring of a story over total traffic figures, and while looking at […]

In the UK, The Economist uses programmatic to drive subscriptions

Over half of The Economist’s overall revenue, £167 million ($251 million), is tied to subscriptions, reports Digiday, and increasingly the offers leading to subscriptions are served up by the technology used in programmatic advertising. While The Economist hasn’t moved away from using agencies, six months ago it did start running its own ad retargeting program […]

Before hiring a data scientist, identify what expertise you need

More and more news organizations are hiring data scientists and other experts to help leadership identify the data the company is using or could use for data-informed content and business strategies. “Because data scientists can be the difference between success and failure in a company’s use of its data, finding the right kind is critical,” […]

Is ‘time well spent’ a better digital metric — and how would it be measured?

Chartbeat and others in 2014 began talking more concertedly about “time spent” as a better metric than pageviews. Analyst Rick Edmonds takes a look at the maturing debate on digital metrics today, in which leaders know they need better metrics and some products’ success might be better measured by “time well spent,” because the goal […]

ComScore to track video audiences across computers, mobile and “other streaming devices”

You might have heard: Digital video has created a conundrum for measuring total viewership (Hollywood Reporter), pushing groups like CNN to create an “all screen” metric, which combines data from different samples (Media Post) But did you know: Previously ComScore measured digital video audiences only on desktops and laptops. The new device metrics are part […]

’Attention’ alone isn’t a strong enough metric for business

Much attention has been given to new “attention” metrics as a replacement or supplement for pageviews, all in an effort to better measure audience. “The painful truth is: attention itself isn’t worth as much as today’s marketers, boardrooms, and beancounters think,” writes Umair Haque. “Attention is a fickle, fleeting thing on which to build a […]

Can media organizations overcome the barriers to better metrics?

Jasper Jackson follows up on Ev Williams’ post about the shortcoming of any one metric. “While the inadequacies of the system are clear to most, the solutions remain elusive. That’s in part because both the ad and publishing sides of the industry face barriers hindering their ability and desire to come up with more nuanced […]

Metric measurement is imperfect, and why Medium is focused on ‘total time reading’

Ev Williams, CEO of Medium and co-founder of Twitter, was recently quoted saying he didn’t care that Instagram had more users than Twitter. In this piece, he explains his increasing frustration with the one-dimensionality of current metrics used to talk about success, why Medium uses time, and why even Comscore’s numbers, which are widely used […]

Most “dark social” traffic is actually from Facebook’s mobile app, according to new research from Chartbeat

You might have heard: Dark social: Facebook is less than one-third of all social sharing But did you know: Alexis Madrigal, who coined the term two years ago, gives an update on dark social traffic in the mobile app era. “Since it came out, I’ve done research that’s caused me to rethink dark social — […]