A shift is materializing in how long-form video content is measured and analyzed. As new currencies emerge across platforms, how can buyers and sellers trust the legitimacy of these metrics enough to transact on them?

The need for nimble standardization in national cross-platform measurement led to the formation of the Joint Industry Committee (JIC) in 2023, which is focused on validating video currencies at scale and certifying the business requirements around transactions.

The JIC joins other efforts in the market, such as the Media Rating Council (MRC), a historic regulator in the space. But the JIC isn’t competing against existing organizations, as some previously assumed. Rather, the JIC offers a new avenue for certification in a more specific application, which will ensure the deluge of new national cross-platform currencies flooding the market are operationally ready for transacting at scale.

Let’s explore how the JIC has taken a new approach to measurement, what the industry gains by adopting JIC certification, and why standardizing transactable, interoperable currencies will be crucial for the future of TV advertising.

Focusing on business applications

As consumer behavior has transformed, so too have the requirements buyers and sellers expect of any one solution to be considered transactable. The reality is that CTV brought in over $20 billion US ad dollars last year and is poised to exceed linear ad spend by 2025, according to a study by TVREV.

All the while, the industry is increasingly adopting solutions without MRC accreditation to get a better picture of cross-screen media and attribution. In fact, no true cross-platform solution has yet been awarded accreditation status.

But buyers and sellers still need to know which cross-platform currencies they can trust, which will inform the steps toward operational readiness and shape business models for the new reality of TV advertising. That’s why the JIC’s standards focus on key priorities for enablement, covering both transactional methodology and actual product features to determine permitted uses of data.

The certification process examines a solution’s use of big data, its technology and infrastructure, the interoperability it provides, how it’s meeting privacy regulations, the level of data transparency, completeness and stability, the flexibility of workflows and transactions, and its media stewardship, among other factors.

Drawing on the insights of big data in combination with panel data enables the JIC to assess solutions built for the reality of cross-screen viewership. Plus, the committee’s guidelines were formed with input from sellers and buyers equitably, ensuring certification will be useful to both sides of the market.

By focusing on currencies and transactability rather than drilling deep into measurement methodologies and technical details, the JIC can keep pace with the solutions that buyers and sellers are using to negotiate media deals as the TV landscape evolves, all while supporting the important role of the MRC in validating methodology, revered as the gold standard for decades. The JIC and MRC serve different needs and envision working together to further the quality and utility of TV measurement.

Certifying companies and solutions as they grow

The JIC is addressing a hole in the TV advertising landscape by determining if measurement solutions meet the core requirements to facilitate transaction enablement as currency. The JIC’s business requirements also help emerging companies identify priorities to achieve commercial success.

The JIC’s framework and process will allow emerging companies to earn a stamp of approval on transactability, prove their value, and demonstrate scale long enough to pass an MRC audit. By certifying these newer measurement solutions, the JIC is enabling companies to demonstrate the minimal viability of their currencies for transaction in pace with the direction and speed the market is moving.

Paving the way for standards in a cross-platform ecosystem

With the JIC’s first currency certification reaching its culmination in just one year’s time, the TV industry is poised to gain stability and standardization around emerging measurement methodologies.

The entire industry is seeking new standardized currencies and reassurances on transactability. In addition to responding to the urgent call for transparency into cross-platform measurement, the JIC is also building a streaming data service to provide clarity amidst all of TV’s fragmentation.

As the first streaming data aggregation service containing first-party cross-publisher data, insights from the JIC Streaming Data Service aims to unlock a holistic, cross-platform understanding of where consumers are viewing content, while establishing clear guidelines for what is needed from a privacy standpoint for publishers to give access to valuable datasets with certified companies to enrich their measurement solutions.

For now, the JIC is focused on certifying multiple cross-platform currencies ahead of the 2024 upfronts. And that’s just the beginning of the committee’s work in transitioning a multi-billion-dollar industry from yesterday’s signals to a currency of the future that will accurately reflect the shifting ways consumers view content.

This article has been written with contributions from industry leaders at agencies Dentsu, GroupM, Havas Media, Horizon Media, IPG Mediabrands, Omnicom Media Group, Publicis Media and RPA, in addition to national publishers A+E Networks, AMC Networks, FOX, Hallmark Media, NBCUniversal, Paramount, Scripps, TelevisaUnivision and Warner Bros Discovery, as well as the VAB and OpenAP.