How we measure broadcasters’ audiences

Founded by the major players in the UK television and advertising industry, BARB is responsible for delivering the UK’s television audience ratings. Since our formation in 1981, broadcasters, agencies and advertisers have collaborated in the governance of BARB as we fulfil three important purposes.

  • Our viewing figures support decisions that are made in the making and distribution of television programmes.
  • Our data inform the ongoing conversation about how broadcasters operate in the public interest and in accordance with prevailing legislation.
  • Advertisers, agencies and broadcasters use our data to support the planning and buying of advertising campaigns, and to assess the brand and sales outcomes of these campaigns.

BARB’s research focuses on the following questions: Who is watching and who are they watching with? What are they watching? When are they watching? Which screen are they watching on? How did the content get to the screen?

  • We deliver a 360° Audience View across linear channels and broadcaster VOD services, and have new capabilities for reporting SVOD and video-sharing platforms.
  • Our Advanced Campaign Hub allows buyers and sellers of advertising to assess and optimise the total, unduplicated audience for campaigns on linear and BVOD services.
  • Our audience measurement service is underpinned by Big Data Integration. Audience data collected from a representative panel of UK homes is integrated each day with a census-level count of viewing to BVOD services. This technique is called Dovetail Fusion.

BARB has two sources of data:

  1. People-based data: the BARB panel.
  2. Device-based census data for online TV viewing.

To find out more about how we collect data from these sources, please select the relevant boxes below.

To find out how we deliver the collected data to the industry, please select the data delivery box below.

Dovetail Fusion combines our two sources of data in order to deliver total reach of programme audiences across multiple screens. To find out more, please select the Dovetail Fusion box below.