Summer Series: IAB Australia and Ipsos explain new audience measurement deal

IAB Australia

• Mediaweek looks back at the most notable stories of 2021

In March, IAB Australia’s Board, Executive and Measurement Council jointly announced that it has appointed Venture Consulting to conduct a strategic industry review of digital audience measurement currency requirements. 

The review was the basis for the standards and specifications of a tender for online measurement services which was issued in May 2021, and invited measurement vendors to submit their services for tender evaluation. 

Ultimately, IAB Australia appointed Ipsos for a three-year term commencing in Q2 2022.

As the deal kicked in, Mediaweek spoke to CEO of IAB Australia Gai Le Roy, and Ipsos director of digital measurement Heather White.

Aug 31: IAB Australia and Ipsos explain new audience measurement deal

By Trent Thomas

IAB Australia has appointed Ipsos as the industry’s exclusive and preferred supplier for the planning, buying, and reporting of digital audience measurement data in Australia. The appointment is for a three-year term commencing in Q2 2022 with the launch of Ipsos iris.

Mediaweek spoke to the CEO of IAB Australia Gai Le Roy, and Ipsos director of digital measurement Heather White about the new announcement and what this means for the industry.

The search for a new tender kicked off early this year with a strategic industry review of requirements conducted by Venture Consulting. This formed the basis for the standards and specifications of a tender issued in May which invited measurement vendors to submit their services for tender evaluation.

Le Roy said that sixteen measurement organisations expressed interest, before getting to a shortlist of four.

“We went through a really robust tender process and pre-tender process, with a lot of preparation, and put a lot of questions out to market. You can imagine there are so many different stakeholders with different opinions on what a measurement system should look like.”

Le Roy said that one of the main reasons that the IAB accepted the Ipsos bid is the work that they had done in the UK

“We had been watching quite closely what Ipsos has been doing in the UK, with their iris product, and feeding into their WFA, the cross-media work both in the US and the UK. And both from a technical and management point of view, they were sort of the leader and the ones that we felt were the best partners going forward.”

Locally Ipsos iris will be built from the ground up in collaboration with IAB Australia. Ipsos iris will allow media owners to reassert their value proposition and prove greater differentiation and agencies and advertisers with a trusted independent foundation to make evidence-based media decisions.

Fully privacy compliant and cross-media ready at launch, Ipsos iris will continue to evolve with a roadmap of enhancements over 2022. It will also be adaptable to changing requirements as the industry develops in future years.

White described the deal as an exciting opportunity for Ipsos, and said the company was well placed to build a new system from the ground up.

“It’s something that Ipsos is well placed to do because it’s done it around the world and in Australia before. It’s currently working with MOVE, rebuilding the MOVE system for outdoor and previously had emma.

“Globally, with Ipsos iris being launched in the UK with Ukom it is a great opportunity to extend in this market into the digital space, which is such an important audience to be measuring. And that’s always changing, and it just fits in with the values of Ipsos, which is around exploring and understanding people and understanding which digital behaviour is really important to the organisation and for Australia.”

Le Roy also said that this new deal will allow the IAB to extend into new areas of measurement.

“We’re looking at expanding out to CTV, so that’s one of the exciting pieces that’s coming out of this – that we’re not just looking at desktop mobile and tablet. That whole connected TPP sculpture area has just exploded. Working directly with some of the data that will build through iris but also working with OzTAM to ensure that we’ve got a really strong cross-media currency for video.

“The cross-media piece was really important for us and the experience that Ipsos had working through print fusion, and as Heather mentioned out of home. it’s not an easy thing to do to bring different media datasets together. And having a partner that’s experienced in that was incredibly attractive.”

White said that the way the panel was built is key to what it can deliver.

“The metering on the panel is enabled to also measure across cross-media, there’s something called media surplus, which includes a RealityMine metre, and Ipsos’ own media cell metre, those two things combined allows measurement of audio signals, so that you actually can measure some broadcast television and radio.

“Now, there’s no intention whatsoever to replace either of those metrics. But what that actually allows you to do is fuse that data with true duplication, not model duplication, and it’s not built at this point. But that’s what it allows you to do. Those kinds of things that allow for real cross-media measurement, I think that’s some of the really unique things that Ipsos brings to the party.”

Le Roy agreed that duplication was an important part of the new partnership moving forward.

“It’s really hard to do a really robust approach to duplication. The mobile versus the PC versus other devices, making sure of people-based measurement was key.”

When asked about where Australia now stands on a global scale after this new partnership, Le Roy said that it will only improve.

“I think over the last 12 months, so much has changed that the advantage of almost building from scratch has really come into play. Historically, we’ve been really at the top of the tree, we’ve maybe had a little bit of a dip while the worlds recalibrated. And this will bring us back to one of the leading markets in the world.”

Finally, Le Roy made a call to market and said that the people that need to act now is the publishers to make sure that they are included.

“The people who need to act quickest are the publishers, so we’re obviously talking to many publishers around the tagging element. On top of the panel, making sure people get more accurate volumetric data and more depth of data.

“If you’re a publisher, and you want that data to be accurate as possible. Talk to the IAB, talk to Ipsos iris and work out how you can get involved.”

Top Image: Gai Le Roy and Heather White

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