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IAB retires Monthly Unique Browser metric

Come 1st February 2013, the digital marketers in Australia will no longer be able to use Monthly Unique Browser (UB) metric. IAB Australia has issued a Notice of Intent to the industry advising it is retiring the Monthly Unique Browser (UB) metric. According to IAB Australia, the Monthly UB metric is being retired as it is no longer in line with the active online population or even total population. The decision to retire the metric was made by the IAB Measurement Council with the MFA and has the support of AANA.

Gai Le Roy, IAB Australia’s director of research, said, “The Monthly UB metric has been used in the Australian market for more than 15 years but now that it no longer equals a person, it has outlived its usefulness as a proxy for monthly visitation to website figures and should not be used. As an industry we are looking for more accurate and meaningful data and it’s clear that the Monthly UB metric is become increasingly inaccurate, less useful and even misleading.” Monthly UBs now total over 90 million in Australia – outnumbering the actual human online population by a factor of more than five. In conducting its review, the Measurement Council found that while the Monthly Unique Browsers inflation is most noticeable at a Market Aggregate level, the top five Publishers in Nielsen’s Market Intelligence (MI) often have a greater number of Monthly Unique Browsers than total Australian Active Online universe of 16.1 million people – an impossible and implausible amount.

Post February 2013 IAB has advised the marketers that Monthly UB metric should not be used as an audience proxy. In line with this move Nielsen will stop reporting this metric within its Market Intelligence product.  Instead, the use of a people-based metric Unique Audience (UA) should be used. While the Monthly UB metric is being retired, the Average Daily UB metric can still be used. This is because the IAB Measurement Council has determined that the active online population in Australia is aligned with the Average Daily UB numbers.