The media-led industry committee formed to certify new cross-media advertising vendors/currencies for premium video advertising has invited YouTube parent Google to become a participant.
YouTube objected publicly to the initial standards released earlier this month by the self-described Joint Industry Committee (JIC) because of the standards' exclusion of video formats other than “long-form.”
Now, the committee is trying to bring YouTube into the fold.
“Buyers and sellers have worked together through the JIC over the last several weeks to establish the criteria that will be used to evaluate the operational readiness of cross-platform currencies,” the JIC said in its new statement. “The JIC’s initial focus is on long-form video and while we believe content quality and brand safety matters, it does not present a barrier for any platform to participate in the JIC. The JIC has officially extended an invite to Google, and continues to have ongoing conversations with several media companies and streaming platforms who have all proactively reached out to add their voice to the conversation as we define the future of video measurement. The perspective of every supplier of long-form video should be involved, and we welcome all of their active participation.”
YouTube acknowledged receiving the invitation, but said it was still waiting for more information to evaluate it, and added that it stands by its position about the need for measurement to be consistent across all video formats.
On March 8, after the JIC released its standards, Kate Alessi, managing director for YouTube/Video Global Solutions, posted a blog arguing that all video impressions across TV, CTV and online platforms should be measured in a uniform way, using the Media Rating Council’s (MRC) existing definition of a viewable impression (100% of pixels shown for a minimum of two seconds) as the foundation for counting impressions, reach, frequency and other metrics.
“Audience is king, so measure it on a fair and comparable basis,“ Alessi argued. “Don’t silo video inventory based on arbitrary concepts like production value or curation. And yes, we believe our product will speak for themselves if we’re counted accurately and compared fairly in this environment.”
The major TV companies are concerned that lumping their premium, costly-to-produce video offerings together with all other video — including the user-generated content so prevalent on YouTube and other social platforms — could result in depressing prices for premium.
They also argue that treating all impressions alike would not benefit advertisers.
In a statement responding to YouTube’s blog, Sean Cunningham, CEO of the Video Advertising Bureau, the networks' trade organization and a driver of the JIC, asserted that “the only entities that ‘win’ by that approach of hollowing out all factors of impression source, quality and impact are the entities with the largest supply of comparatively hollow, low/no investment impression. There is no other reason for a ‘principle’ that calls for a race to the bottom (lowest common denominator impressions) on a global scale.”
While most of the major media buying agencies (but no brands) participated in developing the JIC standards, YouTube has cited statements from some buy-side players supporting its position.
“Marketers of all sizes insist on a measurement system that is objective, independent, transparent, neutral, and third-party verified and accredited by MRC,” stated Bill Tucker, group executive vice president at the Association of National Advertisers. “ANA’s CMM is based on these north star principles, and we support YouTube’s approach to aligning and advocating for these principles.”“Quality content is determined by the consumer and no one else,“ stated Bharad Ramesh, executive director, research and investment analytics, GroupM. “With viewers consuming content across many platforms, channels and screens, all that our clients and media partners can do is determine a fair value for quality — and it starts with measurement. It’s important that, as an industry, we collaborate to make an accurate and sustainable environment with standardized measurement capabilities to help make advertising work better for our clients and consumers.”
As previously stated and based on extensive global experience in many roles with various real JICs, this US entity is NOT a JIC. Not even close!