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Google has agreed to a series of audits on its video advertising metrics by the Media Rating Council (MRC), which serves as the effective watchdog for advertising measurement across platforms. MRC will audit three measurement companies that work with Google to measure how often and how much of their YouTube video ads are viewed by actual people.

Why they're doing this: Google doesn't want to lose the trust of ad buyers, especially on YouTube, which eMarketer estimates will add 20% in ad revenue in 2017. Because Google and Facebook have been bullish about releasing proprietary metrics to third-party data measurement companies, ad buyers have been wary about trusting the data they get from third-party vendors.

Why it matters: Google and Facebook have an effective "duopoly" over digital ad revenue, eating up more than 90% of all new ad dollars. In light of this, both companies have experienced heightened pressure to re-assure ad buyers about the quality of the data they release to third-party measurement companies. Earlier this month, Facebook agreed to an internal audit by MRC after they admitted to misreporting video viewing data to publishing partners.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Scoop: Jake Sullivan discussed Saudi-Israel normalization with MBS

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg and Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan raised normalization with Israel during his recent meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, three U.S. and Arab sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Saudi Arabia would be the biggest regional player to sign onto the "Abraham Accords" peace agreement with Israel, and such a major breakthrough would likely convince other Arab and Muslim countries to follow suit.

Tech's leaky world

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Tech companies are learning what everyone in Washington already knows: Leaks of confidential info are inevitable, and "plumbing" operations to close them rarely work.

Why it matters: Most tech firms talk up the power of transparency but prefer to keep details of their operations secret from competitors and the public. Researchers, regulators and the media are increasingly relying on information provided by dissident employees and whistleblowers to see inside companies' workings.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

First look: Harris wants more union membership in fed workforce

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at a virtual town hall with Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) on Oct. 14. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh will today announce new guidelines to encourage federal workers to join unions, according to a White House official.

Why it matters: The Biden administration wants to bolster the collective bargaining power of workers across the country – and they are starting at home, with changes in the federal workforce.