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Breakthrough in tracking IP television

13 June 2013

BARB appoints Kantar Media to open up audience measurement as never before

BARB the official source of television viewing figures in the UK, has today announced that it has appointed Kantar Media to collect census data for TV viewing through all computer devices, including tablets.

The move is an innovative collaboration and is made possible by the commitment of the UK broadcasters to embed metadata tags into their programme content. The collaboration demonstrates BARB’s resolve to measure and report all television viewing on any device, so that broadcasters and advertisers can continue to rely on BARB for audience reporting and airtime trading.

It means that:

  • From Autumn 2013, BARB will measure IP delivered services as well as over the air transmissions, which still represent the majority of television viewing in the UK’s 26 million households.
  • For the first time we will have a gold standard report into viewing to TV player services such as 4oD, BBC iPlayer, Demand 5, ITV Player and Sky Go.
  • Field tests of a groundbreaking app in the early summer should lead to the roll-out of a solution for measuring BARB panelists’ viewing on tablets and smartphones by the end of the year. This will supplement the computer viewing that we are already tracking in 700 panel homes.
  • The TV Player Report that is targeted to be launched by the end of the year is the first step towards BARB being able to dovetail both sources of measurement, making each more meaningful for broadcasters and advertisers.

Tom George, Chair of the IPA Media Features Group and Chairman of UK and Northern Europe at MEC, said: “We welcome these developments from BARB. It shows BARB to be at the forefront of gold standard television viewing measurement, regardless of which distribution platform viewers are choosing. We believe it will strengthen BARB’s position as the only complete source of how TV is watched in the UK.”

Richard Brooke, BARB board member and Senior Communications and Buying Manager at Unilever UK and Ireland, said: “This is a positive step forward towards measurement of this tremendously complex area. We are optimistic that blending census data with more comprehensive behaviour tracking in the BARB panel is the right way forward.”

Justin Sampson, Chief Executive at BARB, said: “This news is pivotal as BARB will track audiences using metadata tags for the first time. Our initial focus is on reporting the extent to which IP content is being downloaded or streamed. This is a significant step forward in our ambition to deliver cross-platform measurement of content. The next step is to invite research companies to tender for the task of integrating this data with the viewing figures that our users are already familiar with.”

Read more about BARB’s strategy.

For further information please contact Justin Sampson, Chief Executive at BARB on

020 7024 8100 or Justin.sampson@barb.co.uk

Notes for Editors.

The Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB) provides viewing figures for UK television audiences. Its principal funders are BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, IPA (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising), ITV and Sky.

On behalf of these organisations and other subscribers, BARB commissions specialist companies Ipsos MORI, Kantar Media and RSMB to collect data that represent the television viewing behaviour of the UK’s 26 million TV households.

BARB viewing data gives broadcasters, advertisers and other interested parties a minute by minute breakdown of viewing at regional and national levels. This information is vital in assessing how programmes, channels or advertising campaigns have performed and provides the basis for airtime advertising trading.