The NPD group already has a prestigious reputation as the most trusted tracker of gaming industry related sales figures. Now it's seeking to augment that reputation by tracking subscription data in addition to initial software sales. This will enable the NPD group to provide businesses and others with detailed market info regarding all sorts of subscription plan based services -- from XBox Live to IGN Insider to MMOs like World of Warcraft, The Lord of the Rings Online, and EVE.
The reports will chart new subscriptions, renewals, and total market share using a sample group of "more than 3 million consumers who have agreed to complete online surveys."
We already know that World of Warcraft is number one among subscription-based, gamer-oriented MMORPGs in the North American and European markets, but hopefully these new reports will provide fairly accurate estimates about titles for which we don't have any official numbers, such as The Lord of the Rings Online.