MRC’s Video Measurement Guidelines Address OTT For The First Time

The Media Rating Council is officially down with OTT.

On Friday, the group released an updated version of its Digital Video Ad Impression Measurement Guidelines, which advises on server-side ad insertion (SSAI) and OTT platforms for the first time.

Video vendors struggle to measure ad impressions across OTT since the landscape is vast and convoluted. With connected TVs, Rokus and more, the MRC decided to address video measurement vendors’ concerns.

The new guidelines specify that JavaScript or other APIs can be used to measure video ad impressions on OTT platforms and that the same standards for digital video ad measurements should be applied. Basically, a video ad on OTT must fully load and start playing in order for it to count as a true impression. It’s an older model of measuring video ads applied to a shiny new thing.

“We want to enhance the practices so that measurement can get better,” David Gunzerath, senior vice president and associate director of the Media Rating Council, told AdExchanger. “We want to see that bar raised.”

SSAI strategies make it difficult to track video ad impressions since ads are “not served dynamically,” explained Ron Pinelli, MRC’s VP of digital research and standards. Since ads are “bundled with content before they’re served,” vendors have a hard time separating ads from content. The MRC’s report includes a new section on how to properly use VAST and other scripts to pinpoint what is and isn’t an ad.

The MRC has collaborated with the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Technology Laboratory on its guidelines since 2006, periodically revising the document to reflect industry changes. Video measurement services have one year to comply with the guidelines the MRC set Friday before losing their accreditation with the group.

Originally published by AdExchanger