MRC Issues OTT, CTV, SSAI Draft: Will Be Considered For Future Accreditation

The Media Rating Council (MRC) this morning released a draft of new guidelines and best practices for measuring advertising running on over-the-top (OTT) and via connected TV (CTV), as well as when server-side ad insertion (SSAI) digital video is used.  

The draft, which is the result of an initiative announced in July 2020 to identify challenges and propose solutions to ads running in these burgeoning video environments, will be a factor in future “accreditation considerations,” the MRC stated.

The full draft can be reviewed here, but the guidelines include:

  • Refined definitions for “over-the-top” and “connected TV” that are more closely aligned with the rest of the industry, including: 

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      CTV is now defined specifically as the delivery of digital video to televisions via internet-connected devices (or functionality within the television itself).

    • OTT is now defined as a more encompassing term that includes CTV, as well as non-linear video content that is typically delivered to a TV screen but that may also be available via desktop or mobile devices, such as with many video streaming services.

  • Identification and encouragement of measurement-related best practices specific to SSAI, including:

    • Disclosure to measurers of those IP ranges used by SSAI providers.

    • Establishment of formal processes to allow for technical certifications of SSAI providers.

    • Utilization of SSL certificates between the SSAI provider and the ad server/measurer in order to authenticate the third-party data.

    • A call for fuller industry collaboration to develop and employ standardized terminologies and signal-sharing protocols in the near-term future to allow for more complete and consistent measurement of video delivered in SSAI scenarios.

  • Highlighting relevant existing guidance on issues of particular importance to OTT/CTV and SSAI, including on such matters as the impacts on measurement of latency, continuous play, “TV Off” situations and the application of invalid traffic detection and filtration in these environments.

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