IAB Takes Aim At Nielsen’s Video Measurement Standards

Woman hand using modern laptop computer to connect with live streaming video on social network

Industry body the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has slammed the video measurement component of Nielsen’s Digital Content Ratings (DCR), claiming it fails to properly measure video audience reach.

In a statement, the IAB criticised Nielsen’s ability to measure off-platform content on Facebook.

According to IAB, Nielsen’s viewing standards are not robust enough to “calculate the audience-reach data that is needed for media buyers and advertisers to make accurate decisions”.

As well as this, IAB states Nielsen’s video standards are not in line with the recommendations published by the Media Ratings Council (MRC) Digital Audience-Based Measurement Standards in December of last year, which uses a minimum viewing time of two seconds in both on and off platform activity.

“Some publishers had started to track their Facebook video activity on the understanding that qualifiers would be introduced in 2018 however other publishers will be delaying this tracking until the qualifiers are in place,” the IAB’s statement says.

“Until the time qualifier is properly introduced, IAB Australia will only endorse video audience data which excludes Facebook secondary crediting for off-platform video content.”

Meaning, IAB Australia will only support the inclusion of the off-platform audience data by Nielsen once revised viewing qualifiers have been introduced.

Publishers have come out in agreement of IAB’s criticism of Nielsen’s video measurement, with Seven West Media chief digital officer Clive Dickens, News DNA MD Julian Delany and Nine Entertainment director of product and audience Roxanne Hoad all throwing support behind the bureau.

Speaking about its stance, IAB CEO Gai Le Roy said: “Audiences continue to increase their consumption of digital video and advertisers rightly continue to reinvest in this highly effective advertising option, so it is our responsibility to provide the market with the most accurate data possible.

“The IAB continues to support Digital Content Ratings’ independent 3rd party measurement for digital audience measurement as it offers world’s best practice for online audience measurement and is more inclusive of both long and short form video formats. However, there will be times when we will challenge and choose not to endorse particular metrics within the system. This is one of those times,” Le Roy added.

Despite the criticism of video measurement, the IAB is still supportive of Nielsen’s DCR product, which underwent a major upgrade in June.

At the time of the upgrade, Le Roy supported Nielsen’s DCR and its ability to measure off-platform video.

She said, “Australia is the first market globally to introduce a digital audience currency that has broad monthly ratings coverage across both text and video content for on and off-platform to give digital publishers – big and small – the opportunity to report their complete audience.

“Today’s release is a testament to the commitment from the IAB Measurement Council and the level of local digital industry collaboration to support independent, transparent and high-quality digital measurement.”

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