mrclogoThe Media Ratings Council has released new Digital Audience-Based Measurement Standards developed in conjunction with the 4A’s, IAB, and ANA.

The standards introduce a new metric called “duration weighting” for digital video ads.  The measurement will be used to equalize time spent on video across media platforms.  In other words, a 2 second video view will no longer get equal treatment as a 30 second viewing on TV.

  • Media Ratings Council – Independent group established by Congress in the 1960’s to provide accreditation of rating services
  • 4A’s – National trade association representing US advertising agencies
  • IAB – national trade group of more than 650 leading media and tech companies
  • ANA – Association of 15,000 representing $250 billion in annual ad or marketing spend

One Year Grace Period

MRC is providing for a one-year grace period for accredited audience measurement services to comply with these new standards. This period will parallel the expected development timeline of the MRC’s cross-media standards.

“The release of these standards represents a formative point of transition for the digital ad market,” says George Ivie, CEO and Executive Director of the MRC, via news release. “Not only do these standards provide clear guidance for the measurement of digital audiences, they also put forth the foundational elements on which standards for cross-media measurement will be based, which will be critical to the future of the industry.”

  • The use of Viewable Impressions as the foundational measurement required for the inclusion of a digital ad exposure into an audience-based metric calculation, such as a Gross Rating Point (GRP);
  • Guidance for attributing audience characteristics to impression-level data using a variety of approaches, including panels, census data collection techniques and third-party large data sets, among
  • Specifications for the necessary internal and quality controls needed in the preparation of digital audience data, inclusive of the mandated use of Sophisticated Invalid Traffic (SIVT) filtration processes to be applied to ad impressions used as input to digital audience measurements;
  • Guidance on projection, calculation and weighting processes;
  • The introduction of the concept of duration weighting for digital video ads, which is put forward to be applied to digital audience measurements to be used in cross-media comparison and analyses.

It should be noted that while MRC is committed to incorporating the concept of duration weighting into its 2018 cross-media audience measurement standards, additional research will be conducted over the next year that may lead to refinements of the requirements around duration weighting for digital ads and those of other media types, which ultimately will be reflected in those forthcoming standards. Also, the implementation of duration weighting in cross-media measurement ultimately will be dependent upon the ability to achieve appropriate comparability across reported media types.