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New insight into time shift viewing

11 September 2013

  • In a global first, BARB is now reporting timeshift data that reveal how TV viewing builds in the four weeks following broadcast.
  • This new reporting format is in addition to the current BARB Gold Standard figures, which comprise viewing in the seven days after broadcast. Seven-day consolidated viewing, the UK's airtime trading currency, still represents over 98% of viewing.
  • 8-28 days timeshifted viewing data for all programmes and commercials broadcast during July reveals an additional 1.5% in total viewing.

Further analysis shows that 8-28 days timeshifted viewing is most prevalent within ABC1 households and among 25-44 year old adults. Some programmes are seeing an increase of as much as 15% in total audience, with the highest increments likely to be for drama, film and children's programming. Equally, some programmes see little or no increase, with news and sports being prominent in this respect.

The release of these official figures allow commissioners, schedulers and media planners to examine how different demographics behave and how timeshifting affects different channels and programme genres.

The graphic below shows how, for a selection of programmes that are more likely to be timeshifted, the audience increases over four weeks after the original broadcast.

BARB 28 Day Graphic

The final episode of Broadchurch on ITV achieved a combined consolidated audience of 9.89m viewers. Including viewers watching more than seven days after broadcast, this increases to 10.13m, an increase of 2.4% on the consolidated audience. Viewing to the final episode of Doctor Who on BBC1 rose from 7.45m to 7.89m, an increase of 5.8%, with the final episode of Arrow (season one) on Sky 1 increasing by 14.5% from 1.30m to 1.49m. Channel 4's Inbetweeners: The Movie saw an increase of 3.4%, from 2.19m to 2.27m, while there was growth of 6.2% in the audience to CSI on Channel 5.

Danny Cohen, Director of Television, BBC, said: "We are delighted that BARB is working towards producing data that gives us a more complete view of the reach of our programmes. Initiatives such as this, alongside the recently announced TV player report for online viewing, are the type of advancements we need in the industry. While it is clear the traditional schedule remains core to many viewers, we need to be mindful of how behaviour is changing".

Gill Whitehead, Director of Audience Technologies and Insight, Channel 4, said: "This dataset is great progress towards really being able to understand how and when our viewers want to consume our programming. Longer term it will help us ensure that we can continue to provide advertisers with the most efficient and effective ways of reaching their customers".

Justin Sampson, Chief Executive of BARB, said: "Change is all around us. Watching what we want, when we want has never been easier. BARB continues to innovate so that we can reflect all elements of modern day behaviour."

8-28 days viewing is not included within current Total TV viewing published estimates and does not contribute towards official channel share.


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.