Yesterday morning, comScore, one of the world’s leading internet analytics companies, unveiled a new initiative called Industry Trust to a handful of agency and trading desk folk. It is designed to ‘enable trusted programmatic transactions of quality advertising between buyers and sellers’. A worthy aim and one that ladders back up to their mission of making audiences and advertising more valuable; but what it means in essence is that they are stepping into the ad verification space. A space that is crowded, complex and still largely un-standardised, so it is not a given that they will succeed.
There are various products and initiatives that sit under the umbrella of Industry Trust but what you need to know about for now is something called Trust Profiles. The idea is to quality score publisher inventory against the same comScore metrics that we use for traditional buys i.e. MMX, video Metrix, VCE etc. and it is then translated into profiles for publishers that can be accessed programmatically. This means there is an opportunity to plan, buy and reconcile with exactly the same data and that should be pretty powerful. It works for publishers too as their premium inventory will be officially recognised and they can maximise its value.
So, a win all round then? Well possibly, however there are a lot of hurdles to overcome. Even when you strip back the competitive marketplace, the fragmentation, the data land grab, existing relationships and so on, there is still an overarching question around the direction that media planning is taking (integration, DMP’s, cross media etc) and how central comScore will be to that process. If they can maintain their relevancy at a planning level then they should make good strides in verification.
It’s definitely an interesting one to watch. You can find more information on Industry Trust here.