Google’s YouTube to undergo MRC audits for video viewability measurement

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Google announced Tuesday that the Media Rating Council (MRC), the media industry’s measurement monitor, will be auditing YouTube’s third-party video viewability measurement integrations for accreditation. Google is also seeking metrics accreditation for video ads bought through its ad-buying platforms, AdWords and DoubleClick Bid Manager.

First reported by the The Wall Street Journal, the MRC will audit the data collection and measurement practices of the three third-party companies — DoubleVerify, Integral Ad Sicence and MOAT — that are already integrated with YouTube. Google says it initiated the audit process and that YouTube will be the first platform to go through a third-party integration audit. The audit will encompass all aspects of how the three companies collect, analyze and report viewability data on and YouTube apps. From the announcement:

The audit will validate that data collection, aggregation and reporting for served video impressions, viewable impressions, related viewability statistics and General Invalid Traffic (GIVT) across desktop and mobile for each integration adheres to MRC and IAB standards.

The MRC will also audit video impression and viewability data and GIVT detection for display and video ads purchased on YouTube and non-Google sites through AdWords and DoubleClick Bid Manager. The ad giant announced it has now received MRC viewability accreditation for video impressions and viewability metrics in DoubleClick Campaign Manager.

Advertisers have been pushing Google and Facebook for independent auditing for years. Facebook agreed to MRC auditing measures earlier this month after announcing multiple errors in its self-reported metrics last year. Google’s Babak Pahlavan, told The Wall Street Journal that Google’s latest work with the MRC was not a reaction to Facebook’s adoption of MRC inspection.

Advertisers have become more vocal in their calls for transparency in the wake of Facebook’s errors, ad fraud concerns that peaked again with the report of the ad fraud botnet, Methbot, in December, and supply-chain trust issues stemming from an ANA report released last summer.

Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer, Procter & Gamble, the world’s biggest advertiser, told the audience at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s leadership meeting last month that it was time for digital media to clean up its act and laid down new rules for agencies and media partners.

Pritchard was quoted in Google’s release Tuesday saying, “Google’s announcement to bring more media transparency is important progress that will help move the industry forward. At P&G, we are encouraged by Google’s actions, which should make a positive impact on creating a clean and productive media supply chain.”

About The Author

As Third Door Media’s paid media reporter, Ginny Marvin writes about paid online marketing topics including paid search, paid social, display and retargeting for Search Engine Land and Marketing Land. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Ginny has held both in-house and agency management positions. She provides search marketing and demand generation advice for ecommerce companies and can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.


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