IAB announces plans to future proof audience measurement

On September 16, 2020 Media Releases

17th September 2020: IAB Australia has laid out its plans to future proof the industry supported standardised digital audience measurement currency with the removal of the reliance on 3rd party cookies and 3rd party data providers, while also addressing the future role of industry content data with increasing programmatic buying. 

Through the remainder of 2020 the IAB, alongside Nielsen the endorsed audience measurement provider in Australia, will work towards developing a new privacy compliant and future-proofed audience measurement system based on industry standards accepted by advertisers, agencies, and media. The updates will see digital audience measurement continue to evolve in the changing landscape, making steps towards cross-media measurement that everyone seeks. 

 The new approach, which will come in early 2021, will remain a hybrid people-based measurement system which combines the best of a media quality panel and detailed census data from a wide range of publishers.  The currency will continue to be inclusive and report on all digital properties regardless of their involvement with the IAB, to provide the industry with comparable data on over 6,500 media organisations, brands and channels each month.  

The updated currency will be developed with the oversight of the digital industry and the IAB Measurement Council, with 13 media owners, agency, and MFA representation. The IAB Measurement Council will review Nielsen’s new methodology and preview data to ensure it meets the high standards necessary for a media currency and continued industry endorsement.

Along with providing the industry with an updated methodology for Digital Content Ratings data across text and video on browsers and apps across desktop/laptop, smartphones and tablets, Nielsen will continue to build on the body of work already commenced to launch text and video planning data suitable for fusion with other media data .

Methodology adjustments will maintain a privacy by design approach for measurement and be ready for limited reliance on 3rd party datasets due to stricter privacy laws and cookie degradation.   Privacy compliant measurement panels will become increasingly important in delivering people-based audience data for advertising planning and campaign performance measurement across the whole market.

Natalie Stanbury, Director of Research at IAB commented: “Today, browsers and governments are reacting to consumer demands for greater privacy protection and so the cookie, much relied on for measurement, will soon disappear.  Adjustment is vital to remain compliant with changes in privacy regulations and be sustainable in the “cookie-less” future.”


For nearly 10 years the IAB has endorsed a sole and exclusive provider for the measurement of digital audience content consumption. This sole and exclusive provider status was first appointed by the IAB in 2011 at a time when the online space had been using a variety of measurement tools, making it extremely difficult for advertisers to compare and understand the value of digital audiences across media properties.

The move to an industry supported standardised currency, provided by leading independent measurement organisation Nielsen, gave a level playing field for comparison of audience qualities and characteristics and hence greater confidence to advertisers for planning decisions on where to invest their media budgets. It also helped media owners to demonstrate the unique attributes of their properties and help commercialisation of their content.

An industry currency is as important in today’s intensely competitive advertising market as it was a decade ago. Last year the IAB conducted a ‘Future of Measurement Review’ to understand the priorities of the industry with regards to digital measurement including content ratings, ad ratings, ad verification and ad impact. The review found that advertisers and agencies are still looking for industry agreed online measurement that brings accountability for their investments and ways to evaluate opportunities and measure success consistently across all media.




About the Interactive Advertising Bureau

As an independent industry association with more than 150 members in Australia and nearly 9,000 globally spanning media owners, publishers, technology companies, agencies and advertisers, IAB works to align industry stakeholders to develop solutions for the issues faced by the market and develop standards that are integral to the operation of digital advertising.

IAB Australia also works closely with other industry associations including MFA and AANA to help shape the rules of play around measurement, Australian Digital Ad Practices, mentorship, global tech and policy work, Tech Lab standards, standardising terminology and supporting the broad media and marketing community.



For further information about IAB Australia please contact:


Gai Le Roy

CEO – IAB Australia

T: 0408 431 455

E: gai@iabaustralia.com.au


Pru Quinlan

Einsteinz Communications

T: (02) 8905 0995

E: pru@einsteinz.com.au