RESTON: Online giant Google is moving to introduce a real-time GRP metric to the digital market by integrating technology from measurement company comScore into its Doubleclick ad service.

The partnership will see Google build an independent third-party metric – comScore's vCE (validated Campaign Essentials) – into the DoubleClick ad server that publishers and marketers use to deliver their ads.

"It can serve as a transparent currency for both marketers and publishers to buy, sell and measure ad space across sites, formats and screens," said Neal Mohan, Google's VP of Display Advertising, in a blogpost.

The service will be available in the US later this year, initially covering desktop-based display and video ads but will be expanded to mobile and cross-platform ads.

The partnership extended beyond the simple integration of the two companies' technologies, said Serge Matta, president of comScore.

"It allows us to radically simplify digital media buying for the industry, while enhancing quality and accountability," Matta said, adding that the development addressed the challenges that prevented greater investment in digital.

Among the benefits being claimed were ease of use, the delivery of cross-screen comparable metrics at scale – including reach frequency and GRPs – and access to real-time insights.

Advertisers, agencies and publishers welcomed the development, which Lisa Weinstein, President for Global Digital, Data & Analytics at Starcom MediaVest Group, the media agency network, described as "a tipping point for brand advertising in the digital realm".

Meanwhile, Jon Suarez-Davis, Vice President, Global Digital Strategy & North American Media at Kellogg Company, the food brand owner, said it offered "a level of simplicity and actionability that we haven't experienced before". Suarez-Davis added that he expected the partnership would "help move multi-channel media planning, measurement and optimization forward in a major way".

Forbes noted, however, that GRPs – a measurement of reach – did not take account of online's ability to track the path to actual purchase. "So while this step is an important one for ad buyers trying to buy across media more effectively, it may also be a temporary bridge to something better," it concluded.

Data sourced from comScore, DoubleClick, Forbes; additional content by Warc staff