While MRC accreditation doesn't guarantee that the ad industry will accept a ratings service as its "currency" for buying and selling advertising on a medium, the lack of it raises questions about its validity.
"Ultimately, the market will adopt a new standard that it trusts," Konrad Feldman, CEO and co-founder of Quantcast told Online Media Daily. "We've said from the onset that we had a better way of measuring Web sites and their traffic."
In fact, Quantcast pioneered a hybrid approach to measuring the audiences of Web sites that has ultimately been embraced by comScore and Nielsen.
Quantcast only sought, and ultimately received, MRC accreditation for its "quantified publisher" method, which generates audience estimates for sites proactively utilizing Quantcast's "measurement tags." Quantcast executives have long maintained that the quantified publisher method is the best and most reliable way of measuring the traffic of Web sites.
"We were impressed with many of the innovations introduced by Quantcast in this product, and its accreditation is a notable step in the continuing evolution of the state of online measurement," MRC Executive Director George Ivie said in a statement provided in Quantcast's announcement. "We look forward to continuing our work with Quantcast to bring additional elements of its product line into the audit and accreditation process."
The MRC was formed in 1964 at the urging of the United States Congress following congressional hearings about the broadcast TV industry's unregulated TV ratings methods. While the MRC has accredited methods for individual online publishers and ad serving services, Quantcast marks the first time it has accredited a syndicated online audience measurement service, though it has been involved in an ongoing series of audits of both comScore's and Nielsen's systems, and is believed to be close to accrediting them.