Cablefax The Magazine - July 2018 - 17

201 8 TOP OPS AWARDS
CABLE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT
Gian Fulgoni
comScore
Co-founder of comScore
Gian Fulgoni
retired from his role
as CEO of the crossplatform
measurement
company in January.
But while he may be
stepping away from the
day-to-day work of running
companies, Fulgoni
is not slowing down.
When not busy with the
venture capital fund he
co-founded and his work on numerous boards, he might just find
more time to race his Porsche GT3 RS. This year's Cable Lifetime
Achievement honoree shared with us some ideas on the future of
cross-platform measurement and some tips on navigating the road
to success. The following is an edited version of the interview.
Looking ahead, what are the main challenges of measuring
audiences in a world of multi-platform viewing?
Everything has become so fragmented, so complicated in the
digital age that it's making the measuring of audiences on different
platforms at different times of day really challenging. I don't think
it's possible to do this measurement without the cooperation of the
entity being measured. That's a massive change. In days gone by,
in television, everybody relied on the Nielsen panel, and the entity
being measured didn't really have to cooperate. These panels are
still necessary, but they're not sufficient. If somebody's not going to
cooperate in this regard, I think they're hurting their own interests.
It's always been the case that the buyers need to understand what
they're buying. If the buyers aren't confident in the information you
have, it limits how much as revenue you'll get. In a world of transparency,
the entities being measured provide the information.
Digital platforms seem to be generating a growing volume of
data. How useful is it?
The number of people who think they have data that's relevant is
really pretty astounding. The question is, are some of these data
pieces even worthwhile? Are they relevant? Are they accurate? Think
of the surveys that are being run using online panels. It was shown
that people who join an online survey panel are much heavier users
of the internet than other people. It's the nature of the beast. If you
start asking them about their use of the internet versus television,
you'll get answers skewed toward the internet. In this complicated
world, I think it's more important than ever to ask the question, what
do I have in this data set?
Cablefax: The Magazine
July 2018
How do you see content owners and advertisers adapting to the
fragmentation in viewing platforms?
Consumers are getting annoyed by too much ad clutter. The
networks are beginning to reduce the ad loads. They get it. They're
going to shorter ads. There's the emergence of 6-second ads. I think
that really started in the digital world because running a 30-second
or 15-second ad in front of a 1-minute video is really an unpleasant
experience. The future of the ad industry is fewer ads and shorter
ads. One of the other reactions is the emergence of ad-free content.
Consumers really like that. I think that content owners are increasingly
realizing they have to give options.
Looking back on your career so far, what would you say was
your biggest break?
The biggest break would have to be the first one. When I was in
graduate school in the UK, I was offered a job that brought me to the
United States. It was with a small research company [Management
Science Associates, Inc. (MSA)] in Pittsburgh that had been started
by a marketing science professor, Dr. Al Kuehn. Out of the blue, I got
offered this job and really never went back. The next break was when
John Malec called me in 1980 and asked if I would join him in a
company he had just started [Information Resources, Inc. (IRI)]. That
was a huge break because I was able to participate in the building of
radical new measurement systems. The last big break was meeting
Magid Abraham at IRI. He and I later founded comScore in 1999. He's
a brilliant tech guy. I think I've made some right decisions along the
way, but if I hadn't had the opportunity to work with some really smart
people, none of this would have happened. n
- Caron Carlson
FAST FACTS
uGian Fulgoni started his career at Management Science
Associates, Inc. in 1970. He later moved to Information
Resources, Inc., where he held the positions of president,
CEO and chairman. In 1999, he co-founded comScore, Inc.
uToday, Fulgoni serves on the boards of PetMeds, InXpo,
the Advertising Researching Foundation, Dynamic Signal,
and the North American Foundation for the University of
Manchester. He is a partner in the early stage investment
capital fund, The Chicago FireStarter Fund.
uIn addition to owning a Porsche GT3 RS for racing on the
track, Fulgoni owns a Porsche Turbo for driving on the road.
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