Urban List accused of misleading advertisers with press release about audience size

The Urban ListTIme OutLifestyle publisher Time Out has criticised rival The Urban List after it used the wrong metric to claim it had topped the lifestyle category in the Nielsen online rankings.

The Urban List had issued a release to the media claiming it had a monthly audience of more than 1.31m unique browsers which meant it reached “25 per cent more urban Australians when compared with category peers Broadsheet, Time Out and Concrete Playground”.

However Nielsen has confirmed it was making those claims on the basis of the wrong numbers, and should have reported unique audience, not unique browser figures.

Time Out digital director Julian Peterson told Mumbrella: “A number of Time Out copycats regularly release incorrect or selective figures claiming a bigger audience than us. At best this shows a complete lack of understanding of digital audiences, at worst it is a deliberate attempt to mislead advertisers.”

Nielsen explained the “unique browser” metric is not a measurement of people but rather a measurement of browsers on devices that have accessed content and with Australian consumers using many different screens to access content everyday, a count of the number of unique browsers is therefore not representative of the number of people viewing the content.

“For any ranking claims or analysis on number of people who visited websites, the unique audience metric from the IAB endorsed Nielsen Online Ratings product should be used. This metric represents the total number of unique people (de-duplicated) that visited a site at least once during the specified time period,” a Nielsen spokesperson said.

The unique audience figures for October show Time Out had 309,000 to Urban Lists’s 195,000.



Susannah George, The Urban List founder, said the company is “happy to report on both monthly and daily UBs – both reflective of the amazing engagement we have with out readers and increasing market share”.

Nielsen has spoken with The Urban List to ensure they are “aligned on using the best available metric in the market” and the post has since been deleted from the only place it was published, trade magazine B&T’s website.

Miranda Ward



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