The key hits:
- YouTube has released a set of measurement principles that the platform hopes will become an industry benchmark.
- YouTube wants the Media Rating Council’s Viewable Impression Standard to be the basis for measuring impressions.
- YouTube’s principles will likely meet resistance from the traditional television industry, which has drafted its own measurement requirements.
As TV networks and streaming services iron out an overhaul of the TV advertising measurement system, YouTube wants to make sure it doesn’t sit on the sidelines. And ad buyers want YouTube to be part of the process to deliver on the promise of true cross-platform TV and video measurement. How the Google-owned video platform fits into the new TV measurement landscape isn’t so straightforward, however.
“If we’re trying to consider a new cross-platform video measurement solution, if it doesn’t have YouTube, it’s not complete. Really, the challenge is still which version of measurement will win – or several of them could — and how much YouTube will be responsible for it,” an agency executive said. “It feels a lot like a struggle right now about who’s doing it.”
In its attempt to take a leadership position on the issue, YouTube plans to release a set of principles on Wednesday that the platform says should govern the third-party cross-platform measurement ecosystem. Unsurprisingly, the first principle requires measurement providers to “provide a unified view of audiences across TV, CTV/OTT and online platforms,” according to a copy of the business blog post which was shared with Digiday.
“Our hope is that these five principles that we have set out for the industry really become a charter that the industry can rally around to ensure that the ultimate solutions that are built are those that serve the best interests of our marketers and our viewers,” Kate Alessi, general manager of Google’s YouTube and video solutions team, said in an interview.
As the agency executive quoted above indicated, the ultimate goal behind YouTube’s principles appears to have support from ad buyers. “YouTube is the biggest source of ad inventory for connected TV, and it’s one of the first places a lot of our brands anchor their video plans. We’re obviously active with a lot of others in the video space. premium, including NBCUniversal, but we will appreciate methodologies that measure audience and cross-screen consumption of all types of content wherever possible and wherever there is third-party accreditation,” said Kevin Cahn, vice -associate president of the digital agency Kepler.
However, YouTube has its work cut out to get the entire industry to rally behind some of its principles.
The basic principle of printing
Among YouTube’s principles is a call for the industry to use the Media Rating Council’s viewable impression standard – that 100% of ads be displayed on screen for at least two consecutive seconds to count as an impression. – “as a basis for counting impressions, reach, and frequency,” according to the platform’s blog post.
“Ultimately, we are convinced that we need comparable standards that we can all agree on. The MRC has highlighted visible impression, which we believe is a good standard that the industry should rally behind,” said Alessi.
Members of the traditional television industry seem to share a different belief. “Two seconds is pretty freaky – it’s too small. It’s stupid. I don’t think customers will want that,” a TV network executive said.
However, some agency executives seem fine with this, if only as a starting point. “We could have a long conversation about the validity of the MRC definition of viewable video impressions. But I just think it’s important that they be scored consistently. This MRC [standard] probably makes the most sense because it’s an established standard,” said a second agency executive. Nonetheless, buy-side executives recognized that the MRC visible impression standard is a low threshold that TV networks and major streaming services would easily exceed.
“It’s like, ‘All right, start there.’ It’s very easy to meet. At the point of the networks, it’s too low to differentiate between them, “said the first executive of the agency.
This is where the problem lies.
The Joint Industry Committee
YouTube’s call for a unified view across TV, streaming and online platforms contrasts with the traditional TV industry’s preference for a more siled perspective. Traditional members of the television industry, such as the trade organization VAB, sought to draw a line between what they consider to be “premium” video platforms – for example, traditional television networks and streaming services carrying television and TV-quality programming – and what they describe as platforms user-generated or social video – for example, YouTube and TikTok.
Indeed, on Monday, the Joint Industry Committee — a consortium of TV network owners, media agencies, industry groups OpenAP and VAB as well as Roku — released its own set of principles that sequester platforms like YouTube. That of the group “Basic requirement for cross-platform video currencies” are designed to focus on “the overall premium video advertising market”, but the document never defines what it considers “premium video”. However, it asks measurement providers to “report separately by type of inventory (premium video vs. UGC or social).”
No one knows if and when the two parties can reconcile. When YouTube recently previewed its measurement principles for agency leaders, executives asked platform employees why YouTube hadn’t joined the Joint Industry Committee. YouTube employees gave them the same answer Alessi gave me when I asked her the same question: “We weren’t invited to join the joint industry committee,” she said. stated, before noting that Google is participate in the World Federation of Advertisers’ cross-media measurement initiative.
“It’s great to have a set of principles. But [YouTube] have your set of principles and the rest of the industry trying to figure it out here [through the Joint Industry Committee]how does this help the industry,” the agency’s chief executive said.
The issue of currency
Of course, much of this may be for nothing. The redesign of the TV advertising measurement system is largely based on the measures used as the basis for transactions, i.e. currencies of measurement. It’s in the title of the aforementioned JIC document, after all. But YouTube seems reluctant to announce its intention to support third-party metrics as currencies for its relationships with advertisers. I spent about eight minutes asking Alessi different versions of this question. The closest I got to a clear answer was this:
“Ultimately, we set out principles that we will use to evaluate how we work with our third-party partners. Third-party partners are ultimately the ones who determine the ultimate solutions they offer to their advertisers. So our goal with these principles is really to describe how we’re going to work [with] and supporting third-party partners and ultimately what we would like our advertisers and agencies to do as well when considering engaging with third-party partners in the future,” said Alessi. “Does that make sense?”
What we heard
“In terms of writing original scripts with context, a producer can, in a day – if all the information is there for you and you’re just putting it together – they can do two to three of these scripts in one day, from start to finish, from pitch to production, editing and setting up.
— NBC News Executive Producer of Original Social Video Devan Joseph on the Digiday Podcast
Numbers to know
2%: Percentage share of ad-supported free streaming TV channels aimed at black audiences.
-5.9 million: Number of subscribers the top 14 U.S. pay-TV services collectively lost in 2022.
$2,918: How much money creator Zach King made in first month of YouTube Shorts ad revenue sharing program with 196 million views.
11.6: Average number of streaming services and social video platforms US internet users used in Q4 2022.
What we’ve covered
How NBC News’ Devan Joseph and Stephanie Scrafano cover the news on TikTok:
- The main hubs of this TikTok strategy are the most recent videos produced by Scrafano’s nine-person team, and then the feature-length explainers created by Joseph’s six-person team.
- Joseph and Scrafano shared some TikTok tips on the Digiday podcast.
Listen to the latest episode of the Digiday podcast here.
As influencer marketing continues to mature, here’s why brands hire creators as “creative directors”:
- Visible has reduced the number of creators it works with to emphasize fewer, more collaborative relationships.
- Some brands’ work with creators has extended beyond using them for media placement.
Find out more about the brands’ creator relationships here.
Wall of Productions aims to fill the void in the creator economy that traditional production companies cannot:
- The marketing services company originated as an online comedy network in 2015 before forming its production arm.
- The company has worked with brands such as Foot Locker, Spotify and McDonald’s.
Read more about Production Wall here.
What we read
Television Industry Measurement Committee:
The joint industry committee made up of TV networks and industry organizations seeking to standardize the overhaul of TV advertising measurement brought together seven media agencies as well as Roku, according to Variety.
Paramount Potential BET Sale:
Paramount is considering selling BET and sister cable television network VH1, and Tyler Perry is among the potential buyers, according to the Wall Street Journal.
ESPN Central Broadcast Strategy:
ESPN has been talking with sports leagues and media companies about adding functionality on its properties to tune in to streaming sports shows broadcast by others, according to CNBC.
The slowdown in television advertising:
Advertisers are spending less money on TV, pointing to a potentially weak initial market if advertisers lack flexibility and shift to connected TV and digital video options instead, according to Adweek.
YouTube’s AI ambitions:
New YouTube boss Neal Mohan said the Google-owned video platform is developing generative AI tools for creators, but didn’t provide details on what he had in mind, according to The Rod.