Monday, August 29, 2011

What happened to VMS, and what is the future for Media Monitors

I think that they were overpriced, and under servicing their clients, with the advent of TV Eyes, Shadow TV, Critical Mention, NDS, and other products and services maturing, This allowed clients to do the same thing for themselves for less money. What is the future for the media monitoring industry? Not everything is ONLINE, and not everything needs to be online for public consumption, In the past Media monitoring service were worried about copyright, now they worry about free delivery from the stations websites. Metrics, and analytics are the frosting that keep the clients using the service that we as monitors provide. I agree, that VMS may have been the very best at this at one time for the major markets (Top 100), but frequently as request come Satellite Media Tours for the smaller markets, which are only available from regional service like We find that only about 60% of the news that has been aired is available online. This is generally true with the newspaper clipping service as well. The only way to get complete coverage is to have a service for each of the media outlets. Burrelle's/Luce and VMS excelled in this aspect. I suspect that Burrelle's/Luce will partner with some other company such as TV Eyes, or Shadow TV to provide TV media monitoring for their existing clients. As you mention "free", you also have to think of the time it takes to search for yourself, which is valuable as well. If having a service do this for you, or having an appliance such as a Snapstream box or a Tivo in house, saves you that time, then it is a premium. Many times these links online expire, and there is no way to archive these clips for later review and analysis. Additionally metrics and metadata are added to the reports provided by these service with also save PR professionals time and money when calculating ROI. So I guess my case is this, whether freely available over the internet vs having a product or service to do this for you, it is going to cost your either your time, or your money. With that PR Professionals must decide which is more valuable. VMS became too massive, and had a large infrastructure to maintain a national monitoring service too much overhead shrinking sales, and competition that could perform the same task more for less is what slayed the giant.