YouTube has been awarded content-level brand safety accreditation from the Media Rating Council (MRC) for the second year running, the first digital platform to receive this specific assessment level.
The MRC’s content-level accreditation assesses a platform’s capability to ensure that digital ads appear on intended sites, and reach the targeted audience. The assessment, essentially, confirms that YouTube’s ads reach the people that they say they do, providing more transparency and assurance over its ad targeting process.
In order to reach its final assessment, the MRC audited all of YouTube’s content review systems, including its machine learning processes and general policies.
As explained by YouTube:
“The MRC auditors also met with our brand safety personnel on site to review our processes and dug into how we protect our global community - including our procedures for evaluating content across different languages. The accreditation also recognized YouTube’s advertiser safety error rate, a metric authorized by the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) which evaluates the total percentage of ad impressions that run across violative content.”
So in essence, the audit determined that YouTube’s systems are indeed trustworthy, and the numbers that you see in your ad performance stats represent real, actual people that you’re reaching with your campaigns.
It’s the latest in YouTube’s ongoing improvement in its ad transparency tools, which has become a bigger focus for the platform in recent years.
Back in 2017, YouTube faced large-scale advertiser backlash over the placement of ads alongside questionable content in the app. YouTube has since improved its placement control tools, which its added third-party verification options can also assess to improve brand safety.
“Over the past two years, we’ve worked directly with advertisers and agencies to better understand their needs and develop a set of best practices, such as anchoring on YouTube’s inventory modes and reassessing whether they should exclude certain types of content. When advertisers knew how to better navigate our suitability controls, they experienced performance benefits ranging from increased reach and view-through rates to decreased cost-per-view.”
In combination, the new assessment and options will help YouTube give advertisers more assurance, while also reinforcing its position as a key platform for video ads, helping to build its business.