VNU to be majority shareholder in new company, which becomes the measurement standard in consumer-generated media
Nielsen BuzzMetrics to provide unprecedented intelligence on how online consumer dialogue impacts business and brand performance
NEW YORK, Jan. 17, 2006 – BuzzMetrics and Intelliseek – two leaders in the tracking
and analysis of online consumer-generated media – today announced an agreement in
principle under which BuzzMetrics will acquire Intelliseek to create the new global
standard for measuring and understanding word-of-mouth behavior and influence.
Both BuzzMetrics and Intelliseek are the recognized leaders in helping Fortune 1,000
companies listen to, measure and act upon the consumer dialogue affecting their markets.
The firms’ powerful technologies mine publicly archived online sources including blogs
and discussion forums to collect and transform large volumes of unaided conversations
into actionable consumer insights.
Upon closing of the acquisition, the combined company, BuzzMetrics, Inc., will operate
under the “Nielsen BuzzMetrics” brand and be headquartered in New York. Backed by
VNU, the Nielsen BuzzMetrics service will bring together the advanced technologies and
client relationships of Intelliseek, developed over the past nine years, with the linguistic
technologies and client-service expertise of BuzzMetrics.
The Nielsen BuzzMetrics service will fully leverage the strategic and financial backing of
VNU, parent to such renowned research names as ACNielsen and Nielsen Media
Research. VNU will become a majority shareholder in the new BuzzMetrics with 50.1
New Way to Measure and Analyze
The deal marks the third in a series of word-of-mouth research investments supported by
VNU. In February 2005, VNU acquired an equity interest in Israeli-based Trendum, a
leader in media and linguistic analysis technologies. In September 2005, Trendum
acquired BuzzMetrics, and the new company adopted the BuzzMetrics name.
Consumer-generated media (CGM) – a term created by Intelliseek – describes a variety
of new influential sources of online content, including blogs, public message boards,
product feedback sites and direct company feedback. The Pew Internet and American
Life Project reports that nearly half of adult Internet users use the Internet to publish their
thoughts, respond to others, post pictures, share files and otherwise contribute to the
explosion of content available online.
“The combination of these companies will result in a word-class organization with well
over 100 Fortune 1000 clients, more than 100 employees and offices in New York,
Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Israel,” said Itzhak Fisher, chairman of BuzzMetrics, who will
remain chairman with the new company. “The Nielsen BuzzMetrics service will set a
new standard in helping executives strategically leverage the buzz surrounding their
brands and compete more effectively in today’s rapidly changing world of consumer
“The expansion of our measurement experience and leadership into consumer-generated
media is an important evolution for VNU at a time when marketers are struggling to fully
understand the consequences of consumer control,” said Susan Whiting, president and
CEO, Nielsen Media Research, and executive vice president, VNU Media Measurement
& Information group. “With the emergence of these new consumer-generated media, the
addition of the Nielsen BuzzMetrics service to our market-leading audience measurement
services will enable us to better understand what consumers say, spread and share, in
addition to what they watch, listen to and read.”
“In a highly complex, fast-changing marketplace, consumer packaged goods
manufacturers and retailers are focused more intently than ever on creating marketing
programs that deliver a real return on investment,” said Steven M. Schmidt, president and
CEO, VNU Marketing Information group and ACNielsen. “The key is understanding all
of the factors that influence consumer purchasing, including word-of-mouth dialogue
among consumers. Nielsen BuzzMetrics will give VNU a new way to measure and
analyze this increasingly powerful force in consumer decision-making.”
Impressive Client Roster
The combined firm will have a client roster spanning nearly every key industry, with
deep focus in media and entertainment, automotive, consumer technology, healthcare and
consumer-packaged goods. Key clients include: Canon, Comcast, Ford, General Motors,
HBO, Kraft, Microsoft, Nokia, P&G, Showtime, Sony, Target and Toyota. Others
include 14 of the top 15 pharmaceutical companies and over eight television networks.
“The combined company will leverage Intelliseek and BuzzMetrics’ extensive
technologies and methodologies, as well as research, sales and marketing teams,” said
Jonathan Carson, who will serve as CEO of the new BuzzMetrics. “VNU’s financial and
strategic support of the new company validates CGM and word of mouth, and puts
research in this burgeoning area on par with other traditional media and marketing
“We know from experience that marketers are using CGM to make better, smarter, and
more profitable business decisions, from marketing effectiveness to crisis management,”
said Mike Nazzaro, president and CEO of Intelliseek, who will become president and
COO of the new BuzzMetrics. “This deal will help us scale much more quickly, leverage
the experience and expertise of Nielsen, and expand our client insights, analysis and
“Our combined management team has done and will continue to do an outstanding job
building and growing this business,” said Mahendra Vora, founder and chairman of
Intelliseek and a board member of the new company. “This is an exciting next phase for
The new combined company will build on its leading search and text-based analytics to
help marketers develop more effective marketing strategies, gain new consumer insights,
and enhance their relationship marketing and corporate reputation. The new company
also will continue its research and development activities to measure the next generation
of media technologies by which consumers create and share information, including audio
The new company will continue to enhance Blogpulse.com, one of the Web’s top blog
portals. Blogpulse.com mines over 20 million blogs every day, adding approximately
50,000 new blogs to its index each day.
Intelliseek is a venture-backed company, and investors Blue Chip, Blue Run and River
Cities Capital Funds will be shareholders in the new company.
Note To Editors and Bloggers: Live Audio Discussion
Listen to a live audio discussion at 1PM EST with the new executive management of
BuzzMetrics. Visit www.nielsenbuzzmetrics.com for details and archive.
About The New BuzzMetrics
BuzzMetrics, through its Nielsen BuzzMetrics service, is the global standard in
measuring consumer-generated media and word of mouth. Nielsen BuzzMetrics helps
more than 100 leading global companies strategically leverage the buzz surrounding them
– clients like Canon, Comcast, Ford, General Motors, HBO, Kraft, Microsoft, Nokia,
P&G, Sony, Target and Toyota, as well as 14 of the top 15 pharmaceutical concerns.
Partners include the world’s largest marketing-services firms, and distinguished think
tanks such as the Pew Research Center. BuzzMetrics is a unit of VNU, owner of such
renowned research names as ACNielsen and Nielsen Media Research. For more
information, visit www.nielsenbuzzmetrics.com.