From media research to people research? UK audience measurement in 2010

James Aitchison

Of the dozen or so talking-head video vignettes from senior industry figures to pepper the Media Research Group's recent annual conference, the most resonant came from John Billett, founder of the eponymous media auditing firm, Billetts.

"I think it's time to rename 'media research' 'people research'," he said. "For too long, we've been focused on individual media and their audiences. With the fragmentation of audiences, that's no longer appropriate."

It is a simple way of emphasising the essence of the challenges facing audience measurement - even if, in practice, it doesn't make for an easy fit with the media industry's historical baggage of silo-based structures and approaches.

At the MRG conference, that baggage manifested itself in a series of insightful 'industry update' sessions from various audience research bodies and initiatives, which each shared their priorities and innovations for 2010.