Ipsos iris: Online Audience Measurement

UKOM, the UK body for online audience measurement, has appointed Ipsos as the new supplier of the UK industry standard for online audience measurement from January 2021.

The new approach, Ipsos iris, has a single source high quality nationally representative panel at its heart and will provide the industry with an unrivalled understanding of online behaviour across PC, smartphone and tablet.

Client context

The new Ipsos UKOM approved service is future ready and will allow media owners, online platforms, agencies and marketers to get a more granular understanding of online audience behaviour across a broad range of audience segments. Data will be delivered to market faster on a daily and monthly basis. This industry approved robust method will give you the confidence to make smarter decisions for your business and your clients.   

Our Solutions

As of January 2021 we’ll be launching a solution that best suits the evolving online UK market place, Ipsos iris. The key benefits of this new solution include:

  • A single source passive panel, that is multi device and cross media ready
  • Flexibility to provide you with deeper insights that go beyond demographics, delivered daily and monthly
  • A dedicated UK based data science, research and account management team to ensure we meet and exceed the markets evolving needs.

Find out more on our dedicated Ipsos iris site.


Ipsos is a leader in providing measurement solutions across the media industry, developing and delivering PAMCo, RAJAR, Route, IPA TouchPoints and the BARB establishment survey.

Ipsos also run the BBC Compass panel, a quality, mobile first panel covering all devices, delivering complete understanding of cross device behaviour. Compass will provide the foundation to build a simple, transparent hybrid method with easy-to-navigate results.

As well as integrating with the BBC Compass panel, other features include:

  • A mobile first approach, recognising the primacy of mobile devices.
  • A high quality, single source passive panel – 10,000 strong, covering all devices (PC, smartphone and tablet) and nationally representative.
  • Advanced site centric measurement that uses alternate solutions to cookies, to provide stable longitudinal data.
  • On device metering technology to understand all aspects of online behaviour.
  • Ipsos MediaCell technology enables the panel for cross-media measurement (TV/radio).
  • Daily reporting delivers audience data faster and more frequently.
  • Audience segments go beyond demographics.
  • Web-intercept surveys allow measurement of smaller sites.
  • Ad campaign measurement.
  • A world class data science team, able to build a transparent hybrid approach.
  • Fast, flexible and intuitive data delivery and reporting via online interface, software bureaux and API.

Ipsos is excited to work with the industry to build a solution that sets the global benchmark for understanding online behaviour, both now and in the future. There is lots to do and we’re here to lead, guide and support you in this journey through 2020 and beyond. Please contact James Torr and Neil Farrer for any queries.



Online Publisher Pack



Introduction and Overview


What is Ipsos iris?
Ipsos iris is the new UKOM approved service for measurement of audiences for online content and ad campaign verification.  Ipsos iris is a hybrid methodology combining a core 10,000 single source, multi-device panel of people aged 15+ (which is recruited to be nationally representative of the UK online population), with meters installed across all personal devices which passively measure the usage of websites and apps. That data is also combined with census (tag) derived data to provide the best measurement and insights possible.

What is UKOM?
UKOM is where industry stakeholders come together to define and govern a UK industry standard for online audience measurement across PC, tablet and smartphone and across the full range of text, video and audio content. UKOM quantify audiences in terms of people, not browsers or machines.

Why a new contract?
UKOM’s current contract with Comscore was awarded in 2012, then re-awarded in 2015 for a three year minimum period with a two year rolling notice. Good governance required that UKOM conduct a market review and explore the capabilities that exist to meet its requirements from 2021 and beyond.

Why did Ipsos win?
Ipsos was judged to have the best methodology and planned resource to build a solution fit for the future of UK online audience measurement from 2021 onwards.

What distinguishes the Ipsos methodology?                                            
Ipsos will build a single source research panel, demographically and geographically representative of the UK population, of 10,000 consumers willing to install meters on multiple devices. This approach means data is less modelled and provides potential flexibility to be fused with other media industry audience data sets.

Are there pre-existing examples of the sort of solution proposed in the Ipsos contract from UKOM?
Yes. Ipsos currently works on the BBC Compass project which focuses on understanding audience behaviour across all BBC platforms. The Compass online panel of c.2,500 will be integrated into the Ipsos solution for UKOM.

What about the current contract?
UKOM and Comscore are committed to meet the terms of the current contract. Until December 2020, UKOM will endorse the Comscore audience measurement products as the UK industry standard. From January 2021 Comscore can no longer claim the UKOM endorsement, nor charge the 12.5% UKOM levy on their UK audience measurement products. 

How long is the new contract?
The new contract is for five years from January 2021 to Dec 2025.

What implications does this appointment have for the future of cross-media audience measurement in the UK?
PAMCo already uses UKOM-endorsed online audience data to produce robust cross-platform measurement for the news and magazine industries. It is believed that the Ipsos solution for UKOM could allow for the development of more straightforward fusions with data sources in other media sectors.

How does the UKOM contract from 2021 sit alongside ISBA’s Origin project?
The UKOM contract is independent of ISBA’s Origin project, Origin aims to pursue one of the first national executions of a global approach to cross media audience measurement and is, therefore, being developed jointly with the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA). But because UKOM is equally co-owned by ISBA, the AOP and the IAB, it will of course maintain an active dialogue with Origin as that project evolves.

How can I access the Ipsos iris data?
There will be various ways for subscribers to access and analyse the data:

  • Online cloud-based portal
  • Respondent-level database
  • Direct access via an application programming interface (API)
  • Bespoke reporting (thought pieces, infographics, etc.)

What impact if any will there be in terms of UK regulation on the future of online measurement?

The UK’s communications regulator Ofcom will be put in charge of regulating the internet. In turn, Ipsos will continue to work closely with UKOM and implement any changes that will be deemed necessary.

Who do I contact for more information on the Ipsos iris solution?
For more details please contact [email protected] or [email protected].

Who do I speak to if I have questions about the UKOM decision process?
Please contact [email protected] for any queries.


How it works and what is included


How is panel and census data combined?
In order to successfully create respondent level data, we will develop synthetic populations as 'containers' for data. This will involve a series of steps including ascription, expansion, and fusion to produce the end-level database. Where sites are willing to tag, activity from the panel will be matched to accurately project daily, weekly, and monthly audiences. Publishers who don't allow third party tags on their websites will rely on panel level data to measure performance.

How frequently will the Ipsos iris data be released?
Daily data will be available with a one day delay, e.g. Wednesday data will available on Friday, and the monthly dataset will be available 15 working days after the months end. Overnight reporting will be top level only and the monthly release will include full set that can be broken down on a daily basis if required.

How is the panel made up?
The 10,000-respondent panel consists of adults aged 15+, and is broken down into the following categories:

7,500 respondents will be newly recruited for the Ipsos iris panel. The recruitment will be done both online (80%) and offline (20%).

2,500 respondents will be added directly from the BBC Compass online panel.
 It will be recruited to be representative of the UK population in line with the population calculated by the PAMCo establishment survey. We will be representing TV and Government Office Regions across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

How are you recruiting the panel?
We will use a combination of offline and online recruitment methods to balance the need for a high-quality sample, where all internet users have an equal chance of being selected. We will aim to recruit at least 20% from the PAMCo survey using offline methodology. The remaining will be recruited via social media and online advertising techniques.

What demographics are available?
Demographics will be available for analysis, including: gender, age, social grade, working status, household composition, and geographical area, via a recruitment questionnaire we administer to all panellists when they join.

What devices will be measured?
We will collect data from adults 15+, across all devices that achieve at least a 10% share of all internet traffic: desktop/laptop, tablet, and smartphone.

What plans are there to include devices not currently measured, e.g. Smart TVs, Smart Speakers?
We will continue working with UKOM and all industry stakeholders to assess demand and requirements for additional devices and online content and can develop relevant solutions as and when required.

What is the panel breakdown by device?

These figures are targets based on Q1-4 2019 of the establishment survey

Smartphone – c.95%

Computer – c.82%

Tablet – c.69%

How are smaller sites measured?
Ipsos and UKOM will recommend that all sites tag, and both are exploring the possibility to initiate web-intercept surveys for websites that don’t meet the minimum threshold (to be confirmed).

Can we BETA test?
Yes. We are looking to create test data and reports towards the end of 2020.

How will the transition work around brand hierarchy? How will the brands be covered?
Ipsos are creating with UKOM a bespoke brand hierarchy based on IAB approved guidelines for which all sites, apps and sections will be classified.


Accessing data through Ipsos


What is the tagging process?
Ipsos iris requires tags to be added to any websites that you want to be monitored. Tags from previous suppliers will not be automatically replaced. After a publisher places their tag, they should inform Ipsos to verify if the tags are running properly. As a second step, Ipsos will check if this is the case and verify on their end with the publisher that the tag is working.
 For mobile apps a software development kit (SDK) will be available and should be incorporated to ensure coverage of app traffic is also included.

Do all of my digital brands need to be tagged even though there will be panel-based audience measurement data?
The tagging of your online properties will provide full census-based daily estimates of use. Any brands/apps that aren’t tagged can be reported via our panel if sample size permits. However, we will not have content-centric census-based audience measures to weight to.

What happens if I am unable to tag?
We are exploring providing a server to server solution which will allow a similar functionality to tagging.

How do I add, change or amend my online brands and properties in Ipsos data?
If a publisher wishes to change or amend their existing brand, they should contact the Ipsos iris team. We are currently working on a protocol for this.

How is this data relevant for digital planning?
The Ipsos iris data will generate a comprehensive and robust measure of UK audience behaviour online on PCs, tablets and smartphones via browsers and applications. It can form part of any communications, planning or buying strategy which can be better informed based on data, such as the daily, weekly or monthly reach for a site or section of website or app, of any demographic audience. The insight gained of comparative time spent on sites and apps, and frequency of visit, by device, along with any overlap and exclusivity of audiences for publishers or any clients’ B2C online property. Agencies and advertisers can be assured that the data is comprehensive, independent, objective, and consistent across all media properties. 

What else will be possible to do with the Ipsos data?
The addition of time of day and day of week will enrich the planning options. Behavioural cluster groups will be developed in addition to standard demographics.

Is Ipsos iris GDPR compliant?
Yes, Ipsos are working with UKOM and the industry to ensure we are fully GDPR compliant.

Will Ipsos continue to support bespoke work?
Yes. We are creating a solution that will easily allow us to integrate with other datasets and produce alternative analysis.

Case studies

For more information, kindly use the contact form below.