YouGov plc
Company typePublic limited company
LSEYOU
Industry
Founded2000; 24 years ago (2000)
Founders
HeadquartersLondon, United Kingdom
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
RevenueIncrease £221.1 million (2022)[1]
Increase £36.3 million (2022)[1]
Increase £17.5 million (2022)[1]
Total assetsIncrease £240.4 million (2022)[1]
Total equityIncrease £125.3 million (2022)[1]
Number of employees
c. 1,650 (2022)[1]
Websiteyougov.co.uk

YouGov plc is a British international Internet-based market research and data analytics firm headquartered in the UK with operations in Europe, North America, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. In 2007, it acquired the US company Polimetrix, and since December 2017, it has owned Galaxy Research, an Australian market research company.

History

Stephan Shakespeare and future UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Nadhim Zahawi formed YouGov in the United Kingdom in May 2000. In 2001, they engaged BBC political analyst Peter Kellner, who became chairman and then, from 2007 to 2016, President.[2][3]

In April 2005, YouGov became a public company listed on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange.[4]

In 2007, polling firm Polimetrix, headed by Stanford University professor Doug Rivers,[3] was acquired by the company.[5]

Galaxy Research

Galaxy Research was an Australian market research company that provided opinion polling for state and federal politics. Its polls were published in News Limited tabloid newspapers, including the Herald Sun, Courier-Mail, and The Daily Telegraph (in contrast to Newspoll data, which is presented in the News Limited broadsheet newspaper The Australian).[6]

In December 2017, YouGov purchased Galaxy Research to establish a presence in Australia.[7]

Description and governance

Steve Hatch has been YouGov’s chief executive officer since August 2023, taking over from co-founder Stephan Shakespeare who succeeded Roger Parry as the company’s non-executive chair.[8] Since Peter Kellner's retirement from the company in 2016, its methodology has been overseen by YouGov’s chief scientist, Doug Rivers.[3]

As of November 2020, major shareholders of the company included Liontrust Asset Management (14.23%); Standard Life Aberdeen (8.6%); Octopus Investments (7.78%); BlackRock (7.63%); and Stephan & Rosamund Shakespeare (6.85%).[9]

YouGov is a member of the British Polling Council.[10]

Methodology

YouGov specialises in market research and opinion polling through online methods. The company's methodology involves obtaining responses from an invited group of Internet users, and then weighting these responses in line with demographic information. It draws these demographically representative samples from a panel of over 24 million people worldwide.[11][12]

Expansions

In 2006, YouGov began expanding outside the UK through acquisitions and acquired Dubai-based research firm Siraj for $1.2 million plus an eventual earn out of $600,000. In 2007, they added Palo Alto, California-based US research firm Polimetrix for approximately $17 million, Scandinavian firm Zapera for $8 million and German firm Psychonomics for $20 million. In 2009 and 2010, YouGov expanded its US operations with two acquisitions; first buying Princeton, New Jersey research firm Clear Horizons for $600,000 plus an earn out of $2.7 million, then Connecticut-based research firm Harrison Group for $6 million with a $7 million earnout. In 2011, YouGov acquired Portland, Oregon-based firm Definitive Insights for $1 million with a potential $2 million earn out. In 2011, YouGov made its first organic expansion by opening an office in Paris, France. In January 2014, YouGov entered the Asia Pacific region with the acquisition of Decision Fuel for an estimated consideration of approximately £5 million.[13]

In 2010, YouGov bought a 20% stake of sports media data company SMG Insight. In 2018, the company acquired the remaining 80% of SMG Insight's stock.[14] The new business was rebranded YouGov Sport.[15]

In July 2023, YouGov agreed to acquire the consumer panel division of German market research company GfK for €315 million.[16] The next month, YouGov chairman Shakespeare said the company was considering either moving its listing in the UK to the US, or establishing a secondary listing in the US. "I think the markets are better at supporting companies like ours there," he said in an interview with the Financial Times.[17]

Allegations of poll manipulation

In June 2022, former employee Chris Curtis, who at this time worked for competitor Opinium,[18] said that during the 2017 United Kingdom general election, a YouGov poll was suppressed by the company because it was "too positive about Labour", under pressure from the Conservative co-founder of YouGov Nadhim Zahawi. YouGov denied that the poll was spiked for political reasons, instead arguing that the poll was based on a "skewed sample".[19] Former YouGov president Peter Kellner confirmed last-minute small methodology changes which transferred 2% from Labour to Conservative and increased the predicted Conservative lead from 3% to 7%.[20]

A day later, Curtis withdrew his allegations, saying that he now accepted "YouGov's position that in fact the results were pulled because of concerns other members of the team had about the methodology",[19] and that he had not intended to allege that Nadhim Zahawi had had any bearing on the decision, and apologised for any confusion caused by his previous statements.[21]

See also

Australia

United Kingdom

United States

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f "2022 Annual Report" (PDF). YouGov. 7 November 2022.
  2. ^ "Kellner, Peter Jon". Who's Who (2014 online ed.). A & C Black. Retrieved 26 May 2014. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ a b c "YouGov President Peter Kellner to Step Down". MR Web. 15 February 2016. Archived from the original on 27 March 2016. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  4. ^ "London Stock Exchange – YouGov". London Stock Exchange. Archived from the original on 11 October 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  5. ^ "Daily Research News Online no. 6227 - Polimetrix Adds to YouGov Cauldron". www.mrweb.com. Archived from the original on 25 January 2022. Retrieved 25 January 2022.
  6. ^ Brent, Peter (10 April 2007). "Forget the election contest, look at the pollsters". Crikey. Archived from the original on 19 March 2021. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  7. ^ "YouGov acquires Galaxy Research". Mumbrella. 17 December 2017. Archived from the original on 10 May 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  8. ^ Kay-McClean, Liam (17 April 2023). "Shakespeare to depart as YouGov CEO". Research Live. Archived from the original on 17 April 2023. Retrieved 1 September 2023.
  9. ^ "YouGov – Shareholders". YouGov: What the world thinks. Archived from the original on 11 November 2020.
  10. ^ "British Polling Council Officers and Members". britishpollingcouncil.org. Archived from the original on 15 November 2021. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  11. ^ "YouGov Panel". Archived from the original on 1 November 2014. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  12. ^ Sandle, Paul (21 March 2023). "UK's YouGov says demand from Silicon Valley clients holding up". Archived from the original on 21 March 2023. Retrieved 1 September 2023.
  13. ^ "Acquisition of Decision Fuel". Investegate. 9 January 2014. Archived from the original on 17 January 2019. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  14. ^ Katie McQuater (25 May 2018). "YouGov fully acquires SMG Insight". Research Live. Archived from the original on 3 March 2021. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  15. ^ "About". YouGov Sport. 20 January 2022. Retrieved 7 September 2022.
  16. ^ Rana, Anchal (6 July 2023). "YouGov acquires GfK's consumer panel business for $342 million". Reuters.
  17. ^ Thomas, Daniel (14 August 2023). "YouGov considers US listing as business expands". Financial Times. Retrieved 14 August 2023.
  18. ^ Stone, Jon (8 June 2022). "YouGov 'banned' release of 2017 election poll because it was too good for Labour". The Independent. Archived from the original on 8 June 2022. Retrieved 21 July 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  19. ^ a b Stone, Jon (8 June 2022). "YouGov 'banned' release of 2017 election poll because it was 'too good for Labour'". The Independent. Retrieved 21 July 2022.
  20. ^ Kellner, Peter (8 June 2022). "Why do polling firms like YouGov tweak polls? Because they are scared of being wrong". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 June 2022.
  21. ^ Media, PA (11 June 2022). "Ex-YouGov worker retracts claim it suppressed pro-Corbyn poll". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 July 2022.