Google’s NAB message – “We’re so traditional in content, really”

Google’s almost immediate response to the discovery that some advertisers had advertised right next to hate speech content, was to promise the world it would eliminate advertising from low volume video, add an AI system to make sure can’t happen, and reach out to conventional technology in the form of comScore brand safety reporting.

It felt it needed to re-engender trust in its advertising and who better to partner with than a company which works primarily with non-digital advertising. Actually, Nielsen would have been better because comScore is rather big in digital. It has some more such moves up its sleeve this week in the run up to NAB, for instance signing with Nielsen to allow it access to impression and spend data directly from Google.

Back on May 6th Google announced its Marketing Mix Model Partners program and immediately signed up Marketing Management Analytics, Neustar MarketShare and Nielsen. The idea is to create an advertising environment where you can measure what precisely is working, by having access to key data from Google (among others). After all, you can’t model what has worked if you don’t have access to what adverts have been shown to whom?

In the past, Google has been slow to take up this type of initiative, and this has the look of pasting more things onto the “hate speech” fix, so that Google can keep up its campaign and recover that much more rapidly. It has become something of a culture change at Google.

Facebook launched a similar program back in January and listed a very similar batch of partners in Nielsen, Neustar MarketShare, Analytic Partners and Marketing Evolution.

Nielsen says that its marketing mix solution offers advertisers a holistic understanding of what’s driving sales. It takes into account both marketing and non-marketing factors, to understand the impact of all activities and how to optimize marketing spend going forward.

It is in Nielsen’s interest to have a window on what Google is doing to drive its traditional clients and give them more comfort that nothing bad can happen again.

In the same week, YouTube has said that its financial reports will include the Entertainment Identifier Registry (EIDR) ID when that number is provided in an Avail.

The idea of the EIDR is to note it when publishing a piece of Film/TV content and track it all the way through to financial reporting on the performance of the content.

“We realized early on that supporting a common, robust identifier throughout our supply chains, in concert with the industry standard EMA Avails specification, would yield huge dollar savings from efficiency. Further, such improved automation would improve time-to-market for our content partners’ entertainment assets,” said Bill Kotzman, Partner/Product Manager at YouTube/Google, and EIDR Board Member. “And now, EIDR is an integral part of automating the financial reporting for us and our content partners.”

In a similar way to brand safety reporting, although EIDRs are mostly about content distribution and reporting back to content owners, if you can list all of the content EIDRs which went with a particular series of adverts, and show that they went out to a particular type of audience, you have more in your locker for positioning YouTube advertising in the mainstream.

“The EIDR round-trip delivers long-awaited efficiencies in the Digital Supply Chain, resulting in game-changing systemic improvements and enhanced financial reporting and invoicing capabilities industry-wide,” said Kelly Fong-Bouchey, Director, Client Relations & Operations, Warner Bros. Technology. “The Warner Bros. Technology team is excited that Google, a key digital distribution partner, has embraced and integrated the EIDR round-trip into its workflows.”

A Sony quote was attached to the announcement, “Sony Pictures Entertainment has adopted EIDR throughout its data systems, and more recently, as the key to transactional digital supply chain automation,” said Ellen Goodridge, SVP Digital Supply Chain and Product Development, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. “The completion of the EIDR round-trip with Google Play represents an opportunity to enable more standards-based automation that will increase efficiency for the premium digital business.”

Google seems to have broken with convention in keeping at bay traditional ways of measuring in its video business, and the hate speech incident has gone a long way to retraining Google executives to want to join the status quo, rather than buck it.