Facebook not implementing Nielsen’s new video viewing qualifiers

Facebook will not be implementing Nielsen’s new video qualifiers, which help to measure audiences, for any video content on its platform.

The new video qualifiers, which will sit within Digital Content Ratings and are endorsed by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), recognise a video view as content watched for two seconds or more. Facebook’s decision has ramifications for Nielsen, as it cannot give IAB-endorsed information about off-platform views to market.

The IAB only wants consumers counted if they engage with a video for two seconds or more

The video qualifiers, which are currently being built, seek to measure on and off-platform video for publishers, based on whether a viewer watched a video for a minimum for two or 30 seconds.

Currently, Nielsen counts off-platform video views as soon as a video commences playing. This means potentially disengaged consumers who scroll past an auto-play would be counted as a viewer.

While publishers can receive this data, it is not endorsed as an industry standard. But without Facebook’s data for the two second qualifier, Nielsen will not be able to launch an IAB-endorsed qualifier for off-platform video.

In a statement provided to Mumbrella, the IAB said Facebook had “currently opted out” of implementing the new video viewing qualifiers in its environment.

“The IAB has been informed that unfortunately Facebook has currently opted out of implementing video viewing qualifiers for publisher content viewed within the Facebook environment,” the spokesperson said. “This video content will be reported on with a zero second qualifier but not endorsed as the official market currency for content ratings.

“Although it is disappointing not to be able to offer publishers endorsed data on their audience extension via Facebook for their video content, monetisation of these audiences differs from publisher to publisher and we would recommend a direct conversation between publisher and advertiser or agency for inventory within this content type.”

A Nielsen spokesperson added: “As of February 2019, Facebook has chosen not to participate in the IAB endorsed 2 and 30 second video content audience qualification at launch and will continue to be reported in Nielsen’s digital video measurement at zero sec.”

Nielsen’s build of two and 30 second video content qualification system evolved six months ago, after the IAB pulled its support for Nielsen’s content video metric, otherwise known as secondary crediting for video. Publishers had previously questioned its accuracy, after a number of websites saw enormous audience swells from adding video views to numbers.

At the time, CEO Gai Le Roy said the body did not believe measuring video views from the start provided robust-enough data for media buyers and advertisers to make accurate decisions, and said the IAB would not endorse Nielsen’s video crediting metric until it introduced a two-second view qualifier for on and off platform video content.

Until then, the IAB endorsed video audience data which excludes Facebook secondary crediting for off-platform video content.

But Facebook still has a relationship with Nielsen, and will continue to provide data based on zero second qualifiers, which is not endorsed by the IAB. Mumbrella understands Nielsen is currently reviewing how they work with other platforms, like Twitter and Instagram.

The tech giant said Nielsen remained a trusted partner, noting it would work across a number of solutions to help the measurement industry moving forward.

We are continuing to review ways to best work with partners on measuring content consumption, and are still very much exploring potential solutions,” a spokesperson said.

Despite the fact off-platform video crediting cannot be endorsed in its current form, Le Roy insists the DCR product remains “world leading” in terms of methodology, coverage for text and video audience content.

Nielsen has said it is still on track with the build of the two second and 30 second video viewing qualifiers within DCR, and is currently working with the IAB and the Measurement Council to review data for on-platform video for publishers. Once this is completed, industry-endorsed viewing qualifiers for content will be applied to participating video publishers.

The above changes only concern content measurement and not ad measurement.

Like Nielsen, Facebook has previously been caught in a number of disputes over measurement.


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