NEW YORK: YouTube is to subject its third-party viewability reporting metrics to an independent audit by the Media Ratings Council (MRC), owner Google has announced.
Specifically, integrations with Moat, Integral Ad Science and DoubleVerify will be checked to ensure "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", Google said in a blog post.
The move follows on the heels Facebook's recent statement that it would be committing to a similar process in order to verify the accuracy of the information it delivers to its partners, following a series of errors and miscalculations around its metrics at the tail end of last year.
Babak Pahlavan, Google's senior director of product management, analytics solutions and measurement, rejected the idea that YouTube's move was in any way a reaction to Facebook's announcement or to wider industry pressure around the accuracy of digital measurement.
"We've been investing in trust for a long time," he told the Wall Street Journal, pointing out that Google already has over 30 MRC accreditations across display and video, desktop and mobile web, mobile apps, and clicks, plays, impressions and viewability..
"Our data has to be trusted and comprehensive," he said. "We are very in tune with the idea."
Google also intends to have the MRC audit metrics around display and video in both AdWords and DoubleClick Bid Manager.
Advertisers welcomed the moves, which "should make a positive impact on creating a clean and productive media supply chain", according to Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer, Procter & Gamble.
Pritchard has been particularly critical of the lack of standards and measurements and verification across the digital industry and has made it clear to agencies, publishers, suppliers and ad-tech companies what the FMCG giant expects of them if they want to continue to have its business.
Data sourced from Google, Wall Street Journal; additional content by Warc staff