Mamamia will no longer use Nielsen’s ‘materially incomplete’ Digital Content Ratings

Women’s lifestyle publication Mamamia has announced it will no longer use Nielsen’s heavily disputed Digital Content Ratings, and will instead “provide open access” to its third party analytics for its clients.

“It’s unfortunate that as an industry we still can’t accurately measure cross-platform content and advertising audience reach through one endorsed measurement system,” said Jason Lavigne, CEO, Mamamia.

“Our position is that the current IAB endorsed system (which it bears remembering only began to accurately measure mobile audiences in 2018) remains materially incomplete, in terms of accounting for all commercialisable content environments of modern media brands.”

Nielsen’s off platform measurement metric counts off-platform video views as soon as a video commences playing, meaning someone scrolling past an auto-playing Facebook video and watching for a total of zero seconds could still be counted as a viewer.

When the video measurement was first implemented, Mumbrella reported that BuzzFeed’s reported daily reach in Australia appeared to increase from 250,000 to 3.5m, while Vice’s climbed from 55,000 to 300,000. Popsugar seemed to climb from 30,000 to 200,000.

The IAB has pulled its support for the metric, and will continue to do so until Nielsen introduces a two-second view qualifier.

Facebook recently announced that it would not be implementing Nielsens’s two-second time qualifier for social video. Mamamia pointed to this as one of the reasons behind its decision to drop DCR.

The decision by Facebook means DCR will not be accounting for the same video metric on-site and off-site, something Mamamia claims it has “long advocated for.”

Last year, Mamamia used Nielsen’s DCR figures during its upfronts, which included the off platform video viewing metric and attracted some criticism.

In lieu of third party audited analytics, Lavigne said Mamamia will instead “provide open access to our third party analytics for any clients or agencies.”

“While we appreciate the imperfect nature of this outcome, we feel that accuracy and reality are more important than having a high cost ‘industry solution’ that doesn’t adequately represent many key industry participants outside of the IAB board representatives,” he said.

Mamamia claims to have recorded its largest ever domestic audience in January, quoting 3.1m on-site uniques and a 6.4m off-site reach via ‘aggregated platform vendor analytics’ – a combination of Facebook, Apple News and MSN.

Holly Wainwright, head of content, said: “What makes us so proud of this result is the diversity of the topics women came to Mamamia for. We had expected success with our trademark irreverent stories, but our most-consumed pieces have spanned subjects as varied as the Australian Open, religion’s relationship to the contraceptive pill, and dating as a single parent.

“What women are talking about is… everything, and at Mamamia we keep it candid, whether it’s editorial or branded content.”

Update March 4th:

In response to this story, Gai Le Roy, CEO IAB Australia, said in a statement: “Although it is frustrating that we are unable to get data on a qualified video audience for publisher content viewed within the Facebook environment, the IAB believes that having internal analytics and non-qualified video ‘audiences’ that are based on video start with a zero second threshold in market does our industry a disservice.

“Agencies and advertisers are more than ever looking to accredited third party sources to provide trusted audience data. We have invited Mamamia to be part of our Future of Measurement discussion but will continue to make the tough decisions to keep comparable, trusted data in market for the digital advertising industry.”


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