Frequently asked questions
Introduction and overview
What is Ipsos iris?
Ipsos iris is the new IAB Australia endorsed digital content measurement system for the planning, buying, and reporting of digital audiences in Australia. Ipsos iris is a robust, transparent and inclusive standardised currency from an independent measurement vendor that will provide a level playing field for comparison of digital audience reach and characteristics.
What is IAB Australia?
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is the peak trade association for online advertising in Australia. The role of the IAB is to support sustainable and diverse investment in digital advertising across all platforms in Australia. See here for more information
What does Ipsos iris digital media audience measurement system provide?
Ipsos iris provides an accurate estimate of the number of people who visit the content of digital publishers and platforms across PC, mobile and tablet.
Ipsos iris inclusively measures the audiences of all digital entities whether or not they participate in the measurement system. Audience data is provided for digital entities across 25 content categories including news, ecommerce, finance, sport, lifestyle, entertainment etc
Profiling characteristics including demographics and lifestyle statements provide the ability to differentiate content audiences.
The user-friendly reporting interface provides media planning functionality to de-duplicate audiences across digital brands.
Other traffic metrics such as page views, frequency of visits and time spent are also included.
Why is a digital media currency needed?
A digital media currency provides an independent, single source of truth for all media industry stakeholders to give confidence in media investment decisions as well as decisions on content and audience strategy. It is important that the media industry has an agreed and trusted source of this data to enable like for like comparisons.
Ipsos iris employs a robust methodology that has been developed with industry oversight to meet specifications and standards for digital audience measurement for the Australian market as defined by the IAB tender in 2021. The IAB Measurement Council rigorously assessed the quality of 6 months of preview data to ensure credible and transparent data is available to market.
Why an endorsement change?
The increasing emphasis on digital privacy from regulatory, consumer and platform perspectives require reassessment of how digital audiences are measured into the future. It is necessary for online audience measurement to evolve in the changing landscape, address the future role of industry content data with increasing programmatic buying and make steps towards cross-media measurement that is required by agencies and advertisers.
The appointment of Ipsos as the IAB endorsed digital measurement provider is the culmination of extensive work by IAB Australia with the Australian media sector, commencing early 2021 with a strategic industry review of requirements conducted by Venture Consulting. This formed the basis for the standards and specifications of a tender issued in May 2021, which invited measurement vendors to submit their services for tender evaluation. The IAB’s objective with the tender process was to endorse new standards aligned to the evolving needs of the industry.
Sixteen measurement organisations expressed interest in responding to the tender. Three short-listed vendors were evaluated by a technical review group consisting of members of the IAB Measurement Council, MFA and the IAB Board.
Ipsos was awarded the IAB’s endorsement, having best met the standards on criteria across all areas of product (including methodology, coverage of devices/content distribution/formats, metrics, demographics, and audience characteristics, reporting and UI), along with criteria for operations and future roadmap.
What distinguishes the Ipsos methodology?
Ipsos iris provides accuracy in solving cross-device deduplication which is the biggest challenge in measuring online audiences.
Ipsos iris uses a hybrid methodology that combines metered data from a high quality, nationally representative, single-source passive panel with site-centric census measurement.
The approximately 8,000 device, single-source panel captures behaviour across all devices from all panellists which greatly improves the accuracy in solving cross-device deduplication. This includes, for the first time, 14- to 17-year-old audiences on mobile devices as part of the single source panel.
The methodology incorporates media owner tagging to deliver daily overnight traffic volume. Ipsos iris increases the coverage and rigour of off-platform audience measurement by including Apple News, as well Google AMP, Google News, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and more.
Ipsos iris will introduce cross platform digital video measurement with the integration of Connected TV audience data from OzTam integrated with Ipsos iris digital currency data later in 2023.
Ipsos iris brings a single easy-to-use reporting interface for all data, metrics, and profiles for media planning.
Does this mean there is a trend break on digital measurement?
Yes. Ipsos iris is a new data set and as such is not directly comparable to the other digital audience or traffic measurement systems. The IAB and Ipsos recommend data users do not attempt to reconcile or compare the old and new datasets and instead allow for a clear trend break in the data series.
How different will the numbers be?
Given that a core benefit of the Ipsos iris single source panel is to remove duplication of audience from multiple panels and sources it is likely some audiences will be lower. The addition of more off-platform sources, including Apple News, will on the other hand mean some audiences will grow.
In addition, Ipsos and IAB Australia have created bespoke category and brand hierarchies based on IAB Australia approved guidelines for which all sites, apps and sections will be classified. The new category and brand hierarchies will be different from other measurement systems and therefore are not directly comparable in many cases. The hierarchies are available to review in the Ipsos iris Index documentation available on request from Ipsos.
What data is reported?
A full list of metrics is in the attached product guide. The key metrics reported by Ipsos iris and of importance to the media industry include:
- Audience Reach. A critical metric that represents the number of people that visited a read or viewed a piece of digital content in a defined time. It is usually counted either in 000’s or as a % of total available audience. Related reach metrics include average audience and exclusive audience. Audience is the industry agreed metric for ranking tables and ratings comparisons provided to the market.
- Time spent. These metrics relate to time spent with a content piece or publisher in terms of total minutes, average minutes, minutes per page and share of total time.
- Page Views and visits. Comprehensive data on website views and visits including total page views, views per person, average visits per person, average page views per visit, average daily visits, share of total page views, share of total visits.
- Audience profile. The type of audience that does or does not visit a piece of content or publisher is of critical importance to advertisers and media owners. Ipsos iris profiles audience demographics in detail, including Age, gender, SEO, family, and marital status, HH size location etc. Lifestyle attitudinal statements and media consumption habits are included. A full list is attached.
How frequently will the Ipsos iris data be released?
Ipsos iris releases a new audience database every month. Previous month’s data is kept in the UI to enable comparisons and trending. The monthly dataset will be available 15 working days after the months end.
Daily traffic data will be available next day for tagged entities, e.g., Wednesday data will be available by midday Thursday. Note that daily traffic data will not be available at launch. Market release date of daily traffic data to be advised.
How is this data used by the media industry?
- Greater confidence in investment decisions from a gold standard digital audience measurement system that provides the transparency the industry has sought
- More effective ad placement and communications strategy from greater understanding of content consumption across different devices and genres
- More effective video reach and frequency planning across screens due to integration of mobile, PC and CTV measurement
- Better audience targeting from enhanced granularity on age, location, socio-economic characteristics as well as lifestyle interests.
- Drive audience loyalty and growth through better understanding of duplication and consumption across devices
- Identify content gaps and unique audience selling points through better understanding of competitive audience patterns
- Better marketing and content development strategies through more accurate understanding of overall internet behaviour
- Independent measurement of the full digital reach of owned content and ad networks for company reporting
Advertisers and Brands
- Identify and activate growth and development plans from consumer insights and trends and competitive market intelligence
- Benchmark consumer profiles and brand usage and behaviours vs. competitive sites
- Understand the online consumer journey to build better brand strategy
Are there pre-existing examples of the sort of solution used by Ipsos iris?
Yes. Ipsos iris is currently operating in the UK and endorsed by UKOM. The UKOM endorsement has recently been extended to run till 2027.
How long is the IAB Australia endorsement?
The appointment is for a three-year term.
What implications does this endorsement have for the future of cross-media audience measurement in Australia?
Ipsos iris’ fully cross-media ready panel has potential to transition to a single source, cross-media passive measurement panel including TV viewing and Radio listening which could allow for cross-media integration solutions for the industry.
The first step will be CTV audience currency integration from a data partnership with OzTam to provide total (unduplicated) digital audience currency data for CTV, Smartphone, Tablet and Computer.
How can I access the Ipsos iris data?
There will be various ways for subscribers to access and analyse the data:
- Online cloud-based user interface
- Synthetic respondent database
- Direct access via an application programming interface (API)
- Bespoke published reports (thought pieces, infographics, etc.)
Monthly ratings will be published by Ipsos on the Ipsos iris website Insights section.
Is Ipsos iris suitable for independent and niche publishers?
Ipsos iris offers the same opportunity to smaller publishers as it does to larger publishers for robust, deduplicated audience measurement across multiple devices including off platform audiences. There are audience thresholds below which some audience granularity will be lost as with any system that includes panel-based data.
Ipsos and IAB Australia recommend that all sites tag to support comprehensive measurement. Ipsos may utilise web-intercept surveys to provide additional data input for websites that don’t meet the minimum threshold where technically and commercially feasible to do so.
Is Ipsos iris privacy compliant?
Yes, Ipsos iris is fully compliant with both the Australian Privacy Act and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). What about the ability to comply with future privacy reforms?
Does Ipsos use third party data partnerships?
No, Ipsos iris does not use third party data partnerships for core audience measurement. Ipsos iris is a stand-alone measurement system that is privacy compliant to current Australian law and GDPR standards, as well as having the flexibility to evolve with changing Australian regulation.
We have data integration partnerships with Apple News and YouTube whereby we directly integrate their audience data for improved granularity.
How it works and what is included
How is the panel made up?
Ipsos iris uses a single-source, mobile first, multi-device passive panel to solve audience device duplication. The panel comprises approximately 8,000 devices belonging to approximately 4,000 individual panellists.
It is recruited to be representative of the Australian online population in line with the population measured by the Ipsos iris establishment survey.
All respondents are newly recruited for the Ipsos iris panel. The recruitment will be done both online and offline.
How is the Ipsos panel different to other digital audience measurement panels?
The Ipsos iris panel is a single source panel with each panellist having an average of two devices providing online activity data. This is different from other research vendors that use a combination of different panels and combine the data.
How is the panel recruited?
Ipsos iris uses a combination of offline and online recruitment methods to meet the need for a high-quality sample. Recruitment sources include our Ipsos iris establishment survey, external panel providers, social media and online advertising techniques and CATI.
What devices will be measured?
Ipsos iris collects data from people 14+, across smartphone, desktop, laptop, tablet, and Connected TV*. *CTV data will be sourced via a partnership with OzTam and incorporated in Q1 2023.
What plans are there to include devices not currently measured, e.g., Smart TVs, Smart Speakers?
We will continue working with IAB Australia and all industry stakeholders to assess demand and requirements for the measurement of content on additional devices and can develop relevant solutions as and when required. Smart TV audiences will be sourced via a strategic partnership with TV measurement body OzTam.
Will Ipsos iris include audio and out of home?
Ipsos iris can deliver audio measurement however this was not part of the initial IAB product delivery scope. Ipsos iris’ fully cross-media ready panel has the potential to transition to a single source, cross-media passive measurement panel including TV viewing and Radio listening which could allow for cross-media integration solutions for the industry.
Ipsos is currently building the next generation of OOH measurement, known as MOVE 2.0 for the OMA to be delivered in 2024. We will be looking to integrate Ipsos iris with other media currencies wherever it is sought by industry stakeholders to deliver cross media measurement solutions.