The MRC is a self-regulatory group created by the media industry in the 1960s following congressional hearings and a Justice Department probe into the TV ratings process, and in recent years has expanded into auditing and accrediting ratings systems and related processes for most major media, including the Internet.
"As the digital media landscape continues to grow and change, the transparency and accountability of audience measurement has never been more important," acknowledged George Ivie, CEO and executive director of the MRC.
At the core of the accreditation is the use of third-party CPA firms to ensure that measurement services are performing all the processes they claim to.
The MRC and Quantcast did not specify how those audits would be conducted, or how long they might take, but said it would begin this summer with oversight and detailed involvement of the MRC Internet Committee.
Applying for accreditation by no means guarantees it, as radio ratings giant Arbitron recently learned when the MRC withheld accreditation for its Portable People Meter ratings system after an extensive audit.
Quantcast provides near real-time traffic and audience characterization for more than 10 million online media assets, including Web sites, blogs, games, widgets and videos via its free Quantified Publisher program.
"Our approach has always been focused on transparency and enabling the media industry to have greater insight and control over their audience data," said Quantcast CEO Konrad Feldman. "Our participation in the MRC accreditation process is part and parcel of our commitment to deliver accurate and trusted data to our growing publisher and marketer community."