At TechCrunch Disrupt today, web analytics company comScore announced the free availability of its platform for startups.
The company is making Tagging completely free. “Tagging” means putting a comScore tag (i.e. pixel) on a publisher’s web page so that the company can see the totality of a site’s page views at the census level. This data is blended with its panel-based data for a comprehensive view. Previously, the cost of implementing these tags was $5,000, but ComScore will no longer be charging for that set-up cost.
ComScore has also launched its “Start-up, Step-up” program. Sites with less than one million unique visitors will be able to access a free comScore Dashboard and sites between 1 million and 2 million unique visitors will get special discounted pricing of $799 per month. The dashboard includes data on monthly unique visitors for your site, top ad categories, demographics (age, gender, household income), and more
This is great news for startups that fit into the traffic constraints who want a quality, in-depth analytics and traffic reporting system but don’t have the $5,000-$10,000 to shell out to comScore or another analytics company. We feel that comScore is one of the best analytics services out there, and this will no doubt help the company compete with Quantcast, Compete and others.
While comScore is growing in terms of revenue and through acquisitions, its business has been questioned in the past for not being startup-friendly. This move is probably a way to address that criticism. Of course, there is other benefit in freeing up its model for startups and less-trafficked sites. One of comScore’s weak points was tracking data for smaller sites, so this free model is a good way to integrate that data and then perhaps charge as the steadily grow bigger.