Nielsen’s Digital Ad Ratings Brings GRPs to YouTube Mobile App Inventory

17 January, 2018 

YouTube is opening up its mobile app to Nielsen’s Digital Ad Ratings service in the UK, France and Germany for the first time, giving insight into viewing metrics for ads watched on the app for the first time. The integration will give advertisers deeper insight into who their ads are reaching through a variety of available metrics – including gross rating points (GRP’s), age and gender demographics, reach and frequency, as well as Nielsen’s own Digital Ad Ratings. The introduction of GRP’s — the trading currency of TV advertising — is particularly interesting as it could help to bridge the gap between TV and YouTube advertising for buyers.

Gross rating points, a metric used frequently in TV buying but rarely digital campaigns, give an impression of what proportion of a target audience actually saw a particular ad. It’s calculated as the percentage of a target demographic that is reached by an ad, multiplied by the number of times they saw it. For example, a campaign which reaches 40 percent of its target audience four times would have a GRP of 160.

Nielsen makes GRP’s available for any of the platforms which use Digital Ad Ratings, but Nielsen’s UK commercial director Barney Farmer thinks there is significance in the metric becoming visible to YouTube buyers. “As the worlds of TV and video become ever closer, understanding ad reach on YouTube and what it delivers against TV is extremely important, and that’s what advertisers are asking for,” he told VAN.

“GRP’s create a more equal playing field. Advertisers ultimately need to understand the audiences across the platforms, and the GRP really helps them understand this.”

YouTube’s use of Digital Ad Ratings will be welcome news to advertisers who have complained about Google and Facebook’s ‘walled gardens’, whereby the two are reluctant to allow third parties to measure campaigns run on their properties, instead preferring to mark their own homework.

Google has allowed DoubleVerify, Integral Ad Science and Moat to verify ad delivery on YouTube since last year. Nielsen measurement has been available on YouTube previously too, though this is the first third party measurement that extends across desktop and mobile at a campaign level, according to Farmer.

The service has been available on the app in the US and Canada since last year, and Farmer says there has been “huge uptake” in these markets, and a lot of demand elsewhere as advertisers are increasingly keen to check they’re reaching the audiences they’re buying against. This is hardly surprising going by Nielsen’s own figures, which found in a report last year that only 50 percent of ads targeted at women in the UK were actually delivered to women.


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