|Headquarters||San Francisco, California, United States|
|Key people||Konrad Feldman - CEO and co-founder
Peter Sirota - SVP Engineering
Michael Blum - SVP Business and Legal Affairs
Christina Cubeta - VP Marketing
Jag Duggal - VP Product Management
Jim Kelly - VP R&D
Adrian D'Souza - VP Operations
|Slogan(s)||Know Ahead. Act Before.|
|Alexa rank||2,631 (April 2014[update])|
Quantcast is a technology company, founded in 2006, that specializes in audience measurement and real-time advertising. The company offers public access to traffic and demographic data for millions of Web sites and detailed user insights to digital publishers enrolled in its Quantified Publisher Program. Their data centers process more than 800,000 transactions per second and the company states that it produces accurate audience measurement to over 100 million web destinations. As of 2013 it was said to be one of the world's top five big data processing organisations. Its headquarters is in San Francisco, with offices in New York, Chicago, London and Dublin.
Quantcast was launched in 2006 by entrepreneurs Konrad Feldman and Paul Sutter. Calling themselves "The World's Only Open Internet Ratings Service", Quantcast were the first rating company to rely largely on direct measurement (as opposed to the traditional panel based method pioneered by Nielsen).
Quantcast was initially backed by $6 million in venture capital funding. In January 2008, a series B funding round raised an additional $20 million from investors Founders Fund and Revolution Ventures. The company was built on the belief that digital advertising requires reliable data to be successful, so initially the primary aim was to gather detailed insights into audience characteristics. By placing tags on websites, blogs, videos and widgets, the firm measures things like audience age and gender makeup, areas of interest and type, length and frequency of their engagement with certain types of content. This information is generally made publicly available to be used by digital publishers to accurately understand their visitors and better position themselves to advertisers.
In 2009, Quantcast took the second step into ad campaign management by launching Quantcast Advertise, a product enabling advertisers to target their campaigns to specific audiences in real time.
In January 2010, they raised an additional $27.5 million in a third round of funding which brought the total of capital injected into the company to $53.2 million and added Polaris Venture Partners and Cisco Systems to the list of backers.
In June 2010, Quantcast’s Publisher Program was the first syndicated online traffic measurement service to receive official accreditation from the Media Rating Council Media Rating Council (MRC). Quantcast received accreditation for its site-centric data, which means the product complies with the Interactive Advertising Bureau's advertising impression and audience reach measurement guidelines.
In September 2012 Quantcast made its custom file system, Quantcast File System (QFS) for Hadoop, available as open source under an Apache license. This helped address some storage scalability problems in Hadoop environments.
In January 2013, the company acquired MakeGood Software, a Seattle-based advertising technology startup, founded in 2009, that simplifies data management and reporting for online advertising campaigns. The technology was subsequently integrated with Quantcast Advertise to enhance the reporting functions available for Quantcast campaigns. This nudged the company closer towards competition in the ad effectiveness category, which includes companies like comScore.
In February 2013, Quantcast opened its EMEA operations center in Dublin with six employees and a plan to grow to over 100 over two years. Account management, product operations, marketing and finance for the EMEA region will be based in Ireland. Later in 2013, Quantcast added offices in France (in September) and Germany (in October).
In October 2014, Quantcast is acquiring Struq for an undisclosed sum.
Quantcast relies primarily on tracking pixels that publishers install on the pages of their sites to measure audience data, which is then used to compile visitor profiles and build a detailed picture of web audiences. The data obtained from these pixels are then paired with browser cookies, and modelling is carried out in order to generate profiles. (Audience members who visit webpages using text-only browsers, or who browse with image-loading turned off, or who reject all cookies, or who clear their browser cookie caches frequently, will not be accurately tracked by the Quantcast tracking system.)
Quantcast also correlates and compares information across websites and platforms to reveal usage patterns and relationships among websites. Such direct measurement data is supplemented with panel-based information for non-quantified publishers, for whom traffic estimates are shown.
By the end of 2007 around 20,000 mostly US-based publishers were included in its quantified publisher program. Four years later the company had grown to directly measure more than 10 million unique web destinations and was said to have a comprehensive understanding of all 240 million US Internet users. By 2014 Quantcast announced that they were now measuring traffic on over 100 million web destinations worldwide.
As of 2014, Quantcast’s distributed computing architecture processed up to 30 petabytes per day using Apache Hadoop and its own Quantcast File System. This makes it one of the world's top five big data processing organizations and owner of the world's largest media consumption data sets.
This large dataset is used to generate comprehensive, anonymous traffic, demographic and lifestyle profiles of online audiences that are based on real-time data. This data is largely used for ad targeting and real time bid management. Quantcast Publishers can either sell ad inventory directly to advertisers or tap into the company’s integrated program fill ad space.
To reflect this dual purpose, the company is composed of two divisions, Quantcast Measure and Quantcast Advertise, each offering their own tools and products.
Quantcast Measure is the company’s original audience measurement solution which processes elements such as reach, traffic, frequency, demographics, interests/lifestyle, geography and business characteristics of quantified publishers’ audience. The service is free for publishers and can deliver data for a number of different web properties, including websites, subdomain, networks (including syndicators), individual videos, ad campaigns, landing pages or apps. Information is made available to the public, but can, at the request of publishers, be set to be private.
Quantcast Measure for Apps
This service for tracking mobile application usage across iOS and Android devices was launched in March 2013 with the aim of enabling developers to measure how many engaged users they have across the major mobile platforms. It provides integrated data on app traffic, installs and return usage as well as audience site visit frequency, traffic by device, app version, as well as top countries and top devices for a given app.
Quantcast Advertise is a media planning tool that makes the company’s audience measurement data actionable. The product combines real time machine learning technologies with predictive modelling to process Quantcast’s large media consumption data and provide custom-targeted audience segments to advertisers. It is made up of two key parts:
- Demographic targeting which allows targeting according to demographic attributes, such as age, gender and income; and
- Advertiser Lookalike Targeting which is designed to discern who is clicking on adverts, visiting a site and making purchases, and then to find similar users across the U.S. internet population
In 2012, the company launched a new self-service interface for its brand targeting solution, Quantcast Advertise for Branding (QAB), which combines both census-based audience tracking with advanced predictive modelling techniques to identify and match audience segments to specific brands. This was to give publishers a better understanding of the potential scale of each Quantcast audience segment and enable advertisers to buy their exact audiences at scale from the publishers of their choice.
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