John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Exit Music (for a comScore Study)

itsuptoyou.gifAdd top-selling British rock band Radiohead to the list of those who’ve questioned the validity of comScore’s panel-based traffic data. In a statement issued yesterday, the band disputed comScore’s claim that 60% of the people who downloaded its new album, “In Rainbows,” didn’t pay a cent for it.

“In response to purely speculative figures announced in the press regarding the number of downloads and the price paid for the album, the group would like to remind people that, as the album could only be downloaded from the band’s Web site, it is impossible for outside organizations to have accurate figures on sales,” Radiohead’s representatives said in a statement. “However, they can confirm that the figures quoted by the company comScore are wholly inaccurate and in no way reflect definitive market intelligence or, indeed, the true success of the project.”

Quite a rebuke. And one with which it’s difficult to disagree–though comScore did try its best. “For the Radiohead study, we observed the activity of nearly one thousand people who visited the ‘In Rainbows’ site, a significant percentage of whom downloaded the album,” comScore analyst Andrew Lipsman explained in a post to the company’s blog. “We ultimately observed several hundred paid transactions, all of which ranged between $0-$20, representing a very robust sample for estimating the average price paid per transaction. It’s true that any sample has natural variability, so these numbers are, in fact, estimates. However, when you have a relatively large sample falling within a narrow range of values (i.e. there’s a small standard deviation), the margin of error in the estimate is minimized. … We observed the actual online spending behavior from a robust sample of hundreds of individuals in order to produce an accurate estimate. If we didn’t have a reasonable sample from which to extrapolate, we wouldn’t have released the data. But we did, and we’re confident in what the data showed.”

At least until Radiohead releases official download figures for the album …

Twitter’s Tanking

December 30, 2013 at 6:49 am PT

2013 Was a Good Year for Chromebooks

December 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm PT

BlackBerry Pulls Latest Twitter for BB10 Update

December 29, 2013 at 5:58 am PT

Apple CEO Tim Cook Made $4.25 Million This Year

December 28, 2013 at 12:05 pm PT

Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik