As announced in the July Bulletin, BARB has established a small test panel of 75 households to assess a new technique for measuring viewing to TV content via PCs and laptops, utilising TNS/Kantar’s “Virtual Meter”.
During the Summer the recruitment phase has been completed and the first data from the 75 home panel has become available for BARB to assess.
The six month test, to Spring 2011, will provide further verification of the capabilities of TNS/Kantar’s “Virtual Meter” to measure television content viewed via PCs (including laptops). The UK is the first country in the world to actively field-test the technique.
BARB is encouraged by respondent participation so far, with an average of 2 PCs / laptops per home being measured. These are likely to be respondents’ own, rather than PCs / laptops supplied by their employers for use at home. Some homes are asked to participate to monitor their viewing via PCs / laptops only and others have both TV and PC / laptop viewing monitored, to ascertain the potential participation and data structure issues of introducing PC / laptop measurement into homes on the BARB reporting panel and whether this could be a feasible option.
At the end of the field test BARB will consider the potential benefits, risks and other issues involved with any possible further development.
In parallel with the test, a pilot version of a non-linear database is being developed to accommodate viewing data from non-linear sources, potentially including catch-up services viewed beyond 7 days and selected archive content. A dialogue will be opened with the industry to consider the best options for this concept.
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.