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R&D plans for the BARB service

1 August 2010

Meter Test Panel

A panel of 75 homes is being recruited to enable BARB to field-test (for a period of six months) the possible benefits of a meter developed to measure television content viewed via PCs (including laptops).

The project will provide further verification of the capabilities of the Virtual Meter from Kantar Media’s TNS (the UK is the first country in the world to actively field-test the device). It will also provide insight into respondent attitudes to having their computers measured and some understanding of latent levels of use and frequency of return of data. Some homes will be asked to participate to monitor their viewing via PCs and others will have both TV and PC viewing monitored, to ascertain the potential participation and data structure issues of introducing PC measurement into homes on the BARB reporting panel and whether this could be a feasible option.

BARB has investigated this technique for almost two years as the most promising one for potential deployment on the BARB panel. Various iterations of the software have been examined, from prototypes to the developed version which is now being rolled out into the field test. At the end of the field test BARB will consider the potential benefits, risks and other issues involved with any possible further development.

Non-Linear Reporting

BARB is pioneering the concept of non-linear reporting for television and aims to have a pilot version available soon to consider the best options with which to open dialogue with the industry.

It is expected to be able to facilitate extended reporting of a wider range of content from devices for on-demand playback, such as games consoles, PCs, set-top boxes etc. where they are viewed through a TV set. In the first instance, this is an experimental and developmental project seeking to determine how BARB reporting could be facilitated for content that does not fall within BARB’s current core service, which is for in-home live and time-shift viewing within 7 days of transmission, via TV sets within the home.