Media Rating Council Issues Draft Version of Digital Audience-Based Measurement Standards for 60-Day Public Comment Period

When Final, Will Mark a New Milestone in 3MS Initiative’s Efforts to Advance the State of Digital Ad Measurement

New York, NY – May 16, 2017 – The Media Rating Council (MRC) today issued a draft version of its new Digital Audience-Based Measurement Standards document for a 60-day public comment period. The document was developed in collaboration with a large working group comprised of representatives of more than 100 organizations, representing a wide range of media companies, advertising agencies, brand marketers, measurement vendors, and advertising technology companies.

The Digital Audience-Based Measurement Standards, when ultimately issued as final, will represent a key advancement of MRC’s work as part of the Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) initiative, a joint industry effort supported by the ANA, 4A’s and IAB. These Standards build on MRC’s prior work to establish viewable impression measurement and the effective filtration of invalid traffic, and provide a set of recommended practices for the collection and processing of information used in the assignment of audience characteristics to impression-level data. They will help to achieve a key 3MS goal by setting standards for digital measurement based on in-target audiences rather than based solely on gross impression counts, and will also set the stage for the creation of additional standards to allow for the comparable measurement of audiences across media types, which is a project MRC will launch shortly.

Key provisions of this public comment draft, which aims to establish a detailed set of methods and practices for measurements of audiences for digital advertisements, include:

  • The use of Viewable Impressions as the foundational measurement required for the inclusion of a digital ad exposure into an audience-based metric calculation, such as a Gross Rating Point (GRP);
  • Guidance for attributing audience characteristics to impression level data using a variety of approaches, including panels, census data collection techniques, third-party large data sets, etc.;
  • Specifications on the necessary internal and quality controls needed in the preparation of digital audience data, including requirements for the application of Sophisticated Invalid Traffic (SIVT) processes when measuring ad impressions to be used as input to audience measurements; and
  • Guidance on projection, calculation, and weighting processes, including a requirement that digital video ad impressions intended for cross-platform measurements apply duration weighting techniques when reported across platforms.

The draft document is available for review through a link at or you can download the document here: MRC Digital Audience-Based Public Comment Draft

Comments on the draft will be accepted until July 17, 2017, and can be submitted via email to Comments received will be reviewed and considered, and a revised document will be shared with the project working group prior to being issued as final.

About the Media Rating Council (MRC)

The MRC is a non-profit industry association established in 1963 composed of leading television, radio, print and Internet companies, as well as advertisers, advertising agencies and trade associations whose goal is to ensure measurement services that are valid, reliable and effective. Measurement services desiring MRC Accreditation are required to disclose to their customers all methodological aspects of their service; comply with the MRC Minimum Standards for Media Rating Research and other standards MRC produces; and submit to MRC-designed audits to authenticate and illuminate their procedures. In addition, the MRC membership actively pursues research issues they consider priorities in an effort to improve the quality of research in the marketplace. Currently approximately 100 research products are audited by the MRC.