IAB Tech Lab rolls out podcast measurement compliance certification program

The Interactive Advertising Bureau Technology Lab (IAB Tech Lab) officially rolled out its podcast measurement compliance certification program Tuesday, formalizing a program that attempts to apply standards to a medium that’s been hard to measure.

Advertisers and platforms can now get certification that says they are compliant with IAB Tech Lab’s guidelines, which establish a common set of podcast ad metrics pertaining to downloads, listeners and ad delivery. The IAB Tech Lab initially introduced measurement guidelines in 2016, and unveiled a revised version a year ago.

NPR and podcasting platform Rawvoice/Blubrry are the first companies to earn the IAB Tech Lab Seal of Compliance for Podcast Measurement.

Why you should care

Podcasting has enjoyed a meteoric rise in popularity over the past few years — 2017 revenue topped $314 million. But without server-side standard metrics and measurements, marketers can’t adequately analyze and optimize the ads they are buying.

“Podcast advertising has been challenged by a lack of uniformity in measurement systems and metrics,” IAB Tech Lab said in a press release announcing the news. “Meaningful measurement has been thwarted by an inability to connect, track, and analyze user requests; measurement products that use dissimilar, proprietary algorithms; and a lack of an agreed-upon set of metrics and their meanings.”

Steve Mulder, senior director of audience insights at NPR, said the guidelines will give the industry a common language.

“We are committed to advancing podcast measurement on all fronts: providing critical download-based metrics according to the IAB guidelines as well as moving into listening-based metrics through our Remote Audio Data spec. This certification is a key step for us and for the industry,” Mulder said.

Todd Cochrane, CEO, Rawvoice/Blubrry, said that the certification “will now be the gold standard of audited, tested, and validated podcast statistics for our 50,000-plus customers.”

More about the news

  • The guidelines specify that ad measurement begins after the graphics/metadata and one minute of audio has been delivered.
  • This certification pertains only to server-side data; certification for measuring client-side data already exists.
  • To gain certification, organizations must go through a four-step process in which the IAB Tech Lab audits data samples, validates data queries, evaluates business processes and performs annual validations.

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