For years, YouTube has told advertisers that its pre-roll ads are a reliable way to reach the young generation of digital-first consumers. Judging by the size of some of the upfront deals Google has landed, brand partners are buying that spiel, but some of them also want reassurance that YouTube ad impressions are as valuable as the video site claims. To help gain trust from marketers, YouTube has announced that the data it sends to several of the third-party tools it uses for viewability reporting will be independently audited in order to gain accreditation from the Media Rating Council (MRC).
The audit will target the data YouTube sends to companies like Moat, Integral Ad Science, and DoubleVerify, which ad managers use to track the impressions gathered by their campaign. With this action, YouTube hopes to convince potential partners that the impressions it counts are of sufficient quality. In doing so, it could assuage fears some marketers have about digital advertising. AdAge, for example, notes that Facebook had to increase its connection to MRC after flaws were uncovered in the way it counts unpaid views.
“Transparency and trust are the core principles of our measurement strategy,” reads a Google blog post introducing the new audit. “We strongly believe in the need for third-party accreditation through the Media Rating Council (MRC). We gained our first accreditations back in 2006, and for over ten years we’ve partnered with the MRC, advocating for standards across the industry and contributing to ongoing discussions that set guidelines for measuring the effectiveness of ads.”
Increased transparency from YouTube’s end could help the video site as it gears up to give its annual Brandcast pitch to advertisers. That address will take place in New York on May 4th.