Project Dovetail

TV Player Report (beta) w/e 6 Dec 2015

16 December 2015

View this week’s TV Player report.

The TV Player Report is the first joint-industry, audited measure of online TV viewing that is being designed to meet the evolving needs of the UK television and advertising industry.

The report is BARB’s first publication of data for viewing that takes place on laptop/desktop PCs, tablets and smartphones. It focuses on activity at a device level, rather than a person level. The viewing data are generated by a sophisticated online TV measurement system developed by Kantar Media.

BARB is introducing the TV Player Report in beta as further developments are needed so that it is a comprehensive report into online TV viewing. The report currently includes data from the following TV players; All 4 (Android app, Apple iOS app and Website player), BBC iPlayer (Android app, Apple iOS app and Website player), ITV Player (Android app, Apple iOS app and Website player), Sky Go (Apple iOS app), UKTV Play (Website player) and UTV Player (Website player). Data from SkyGo include viewing to all broadcasters available through this TV player. Other TV players and platforms are currently being audited and will be added to the report in the coming weeks.

This on-going development will allow BARB customers to build their understanding of online TV viewing at a time of extraordinary innovation and growth in platforms, channels and viewing devices. These data will sit alongside data from BARB’s panel of over 11,500 people in 5,100 homes.

The TV Player Report is the first output from Project Dovetail, which is at the heart of BARB’s development strategy to deal with increasing fragmentation. Its aim is to deliver a hybrid TV measurement service which harnesses the power of device-based data that provide granular measurement of viewing sessions, with panel data that provide trusted evidence on who is watching.

Key facts:

  • The latest report shows that total time for viewing on audited online TV players was 838 million minutes during week ending 6th December.
  • Programme data are currently available for on demand viewing only. The most watched programmes during the week ending 6th December include The Apprentice, EastEnders and The Next Step. See the latest report for full details.
  • A new metric has been developed to determine the popularity of online TV programmes.Average programme streams takes into account the number of devices that started to watch a programme and also the length of time that the programme was watched. Average programme streams represents the average number of devices watching across the duration of the programme. This is analogous to the average audience numbers that our customers often use, although average programme streams is a measure of the number of devices that are used to watch, rather than a measure of how many people are watching. The metric has been approved by JICWEBS[1].
  • BARB is working on further developments that will enable it to report:
    • average programme streams for online TV that is watched live
    • total time spent watching on demand programmes by originating channel, and
    • consumption of online TV advertising.
  • Like any BARB data, the TV Player Report needs to be based on gold standard measurement techniques. ABC, the industry-owned audit watchdog, has been commissioned to audit the implementation of the system. This provides reassurance that the data do not include non-human traffic, often referred to as robots, among other things.

James Purnell, Director of Strategy & Digital at BBC, said: “The BBC welcomes BARB’s extension to include a gold standard measure of online viewing. We believe it is vital to capture how people are now viewing on whatever device they choose and this is a big step towards that goal. We also look forward to BARB’s future planned developments in this area which will ultimately help us to fully understand the complete picture and so enable us to optimise the value we deliver for different audience groups.”

Tom George, Chair of the IPA Media Futures Group and Chairman of UK and Northern Europe at MEC, said: “The whole industry welcomes this important and exciting development. It will bring additional answers in the continuing search for accountability of investment and provides one of the first keystones in understanding online content viewing in the UK.”

Justin Sampson, Chief Executive at BARB said: “It’s great that BARB is starting to report the level of online TV audiences. The TV Player Report bears testimony to the industry’s commitment that BARB works towards a comprehensive measurement of viewing to television and video content, regardless of the delivery platform.”

See our frequently asked questions.

Read more about BARB’s strategy.


[1] JICWEBS is the industry body responsible for the development of standards in measuring online media performance