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Top Ad Trade Groups Offer Guidance on MRC’s Digital Audience-Based Measurement Standards

Earlier today, the Media Rating Council (MRC) released new Digital Audience-Based Measurement Standards as part of the work undertaken by 3MS (Making Measurement Make Sense), the cross-industry initiative with the 4A’s, ANA, IAB and IAB Tech Lab. These standards are an important and meaningful milestone for the media and marketing industry as we move together toward cross media measurement – the ultimate goal of 3MS.

With any significant change in measurement standards, comes a set of challenges for each of the constituents. The 4A’s, ANA, IAB and IAB Tech Lab strongly encourage the industry to talk about the impact of these changes and share ideas and solutions that enable a smooth transition over the next year as adoption of the complete new standard is implemented. As a cross-industry effort, the 4A’s, ANA, IAB, and IAB Tech Lab encourage all participants to be mindful of the following:

Timing:
The adoption period for the standard is the full year of 2018. While the new standards have been issued, the industry will need time to institute technical and process changes that must be made to be in compliance with the Digital Audience-Based Measurement Standards.

Implications & Considerations:

Accreditation:
The MRC will be working with measurement organizations through the MRC Audit Process to assure proper adoption of the prescribed methodologies for viewable impression measurement, invalid traffic filtration, audience-based measurement calculation, and, as applicable, duration weighting.

Technical Standards:
There are several key technical aspects for the new Digital Audience-Based Measurement Standards. For one, there will be increased rigor because of the move to require Sophisticated Invalid Traffic (SIVT) filtration for all audience metrics, rather than only the General Invalid Traffic (GIVT) filtration currently required today. The IAB Tech Lab’s Open Measurement project, now in limited release, will help smooth this transition.

  • The concept of duration weighting (only to be implemented in the Cross Media Measurement Phase) is introduced as a method to better equalize time spent with digital video in a cross media environment. Over the next year the MRC will explore methodologies/data capture requirements in advance of the Cross Media Measurement Standards, and may more discretely refine the requirements for duration weighting. The IAB Tech Lab will also support work on Open RTB, Open Measurement, and other standards as needed to support duration weighting. We strongly recommend that all parties refrain from making buyer/seller decisions based on duration weighting measures until consensus has been reached on implementation. During this period of time, all of our organizations will be providing webinars and other sessions to educate, inform required work, and guide adoption overall.
  • There will be data quality and identity resolution issues critical to audience based measurement that will continue to be evaluated with the MRC, the IAB Tech Lab and others.

This is an exciting time of change in the industry. We hope all parties will embrace the pathway to better measurement visibility and more equality among media types. Better decisions are always built on better data and better measurement processes.