US JIC details scoring system for measurement vendor currency certification

The U.S. Joint Industry Committee (JIC) on Thursday disclosed progress updates on the initiative’s effort to usher in alternate currencies for TV media buyers and sellers to transact on, including the scoring system that will be used to evaluate measurement companies seeking certification by the JIC.

The JIC formed in January with the backing of major programmers (notably minus Disney), as well as media buyers. One of the key aims is to certify measurement vendors based on a standardized criteria to provide alternate currencies in time for the 2024 Upfront season. Led by OpenAP, unveiling the official scoring rubric is the latest step in the group’s efforts.

The scoring system will be used to evaluate requests for information (RFIs) that were submitted by six measurement vendors including Comscore, InnovidXP, Samba TV, iSpot, VideoAmp and 605.

Long-time measurement incumbent Nielsen, which separately had its own accreditation for national TV ratings recently reinstated by the Media Rating Council after a 19-month suspension, was issued an RFI but so far has declined to participate in the industry initiative, in part citing issues over the JIC’s emphasis on big data as well as the lack of an MRC accreditation requirement. Concern over Nielsen measurement was one element prior to the JIC formation that further encouraged wider industry efforts to seek new and multiple alternate currencies. They’re also looking to leverage more data and address issues like transparency as the industry seeks accurate and reliable cross-platform measurement in what’s become a highly fragmented TV viewing and ad ecosystem, spanning a multitude of services, devices and delivery methods.  

To define the scoring rubric OpenAP said a subcommittee with equal representation from buyers and sellers participated, with review and approval from all JIC members, as well as a two-week window for open comment from participating measurement companies.

The JIC has brought together heavy hitters across media buyers and sellers. Sell-side media companies involved include A+E Networks, AMC Networks, Fox, Hallmark Media, NBCUniversal, Paramount, Roku, TelevisaUnivision, and Warner Bros. Discovery. Buyside participants include Dentsu, GroupM, Havas Media Group, Horizon Media, IPG Mediabrands, Publicis Media, Omnicom Media Group and RPA, as well as industry groups OpenAP and VAB.     


Grading of the RFIs is set to start in July, after which those vendors that the JIC deems as transactable currencies will go through a data evaluation process, then followed by a full committee vote to determine certification. The goal is to complete the certification process by the start of the 2024 broadcast year.

"The need for standardization in cross-platform measurement has been the catalyst for both buyers and sellers to work together to create a modern measurement ecosystem that captures media behavior of today’s consumer. We have applied considerable rigor and thoughtfulness into designing a robust scoring rubric that will serve as the foundation to allow us to determine currency readiness for transaction at scale, and we’re pleased to give the industry transparency into our progress," said Helen Katz, EVP of Research at Publicis Media, in a statement.

The scoring

As for how the vendors will be scored, the JIC’s rubric is a scale from 1-4 and a score given across each of nine categories, with four being the top mark and considered “best-in-class” meaning the currency meets all or almost all of the requirements. A score of three means the currency meets many requirements of the category and is transactable but not best in class. A score of 1 or 2 mean the currency isn’t transactable.

Scores for the nine categories evaluating transaction readiness of currency solutions are also weighted in the following order of importance: Transparency, privacy, cross platform, interoperability, big data, tech & infrastructure, cross media transparency, planning and optimization, and governance.  

The categories are based on a set of baseline requirements for certification that the JIC laid out in March; for more details see here.

In addition to the scoring system, the JIC also announced a six-month roadmap and architecture for a Streaming Data Service it intends to bring to market. According to the JIC, the service was created on a purpose-built Federated Data Clean Room architecture, ensuring publisher census-level data can operate in a privacy-centric way. Plans call for all publisher base-level viewership and ad impression data to be available within the Federated Data Clean Room by the start of the 2024 broadcast year.