John Stith writes about monitoring the blogosphere. I imagine we will see more and more articles on the actual business rather than the potential of the data throughout 2006 and beyond. His article mentions Umbria and their BuzzReports product:
Recently, a small company called Umbria Market Research got a profile in Forbes Small Business. Their service Buzz Reports was the focus. Buzz Reports is a blogosphere monitoring service costing upwards of $60,000 or more a year. And they maintain they're the cheap ones.
A hat top goes to B.L. Ochman for this one. She noted the article compared Buzz Reports to the products of rivals Intelliseek and BuzzMetrics. She notes the article says the two bigger entities "can easily run into the seven figures."
I have a few comments on John's article. Firstly, the blogosphere is just part of what Umbria (and others) monitor. The tools and products are actually aimed at a far broader content space - anything that is generated by users/amateurs/consumers/call-them-what-you-will. This includes blogs, but also boards, review sites, usenet, listserv data and beyond.
Secondly, the issue of price is presented a little confusingly. The difference in cost is not between like products. It would be like saying 'Honda sells cars for $12, 000 but Ford sells cars for $30, 000.' You probably can get a low/mid-range Honda for 12k and a higher-end Ford truck for 30k, but Ford also sell cheaper cars and Honda also sells SUVs. Services oriented markets allow customers to create contracts out of a range of features and options, which can potentially add up to large contract prices.
Thirdly, I'd love to be able to read B. L. Ochman's original post, but unfortunately a) John's link is to Umbria's site (as I have cut-and-paste quoted it) and b) The Ochman's blog appears to be unavailable at the time of writing. I found the post on BlogPulse (here's the link) so I'll come back to it when and if the blog is back in action.