BARB Explained

BARB Explained: Multiple-screen programme reach and time spent viewing reporting

21 January 2020

In January 2020, BARB began to report unduplicated programme reach and time spent viewing across three screens (TV sets, tablets and PCs), but how does this new reporting differ from our previous reach reporting?

The new weekly viewing summary report features reach, share and time spent viewing data based on two definitions of television viewing. The first is our previous definition:

C7 TV set (As broadcast) – viewing to programmes and commercials on BARB-reported channels on a TV set live and up to seven days after broadcast. For programmes, this is regardless of whether the viewing is through a recording device or an on-demand service. C7 TV set viewing is reported across all private homes with a TV set. Viewing is counted as having taken place at the time of broadcast (even if the viewing is timeshifted).

In recent years, we have extended our reporting of how people are watching television. Our new definition of television viewing encompasses the new forms of viewing that we report:

Total three-screen viewing (As viewed) – viewing to programmes and commercials on BARB-reported channels on a TV set live and up to 28 days after broadcast. For programmes, this is regardless of whether the viewing is through a recording device or an on-demand service. It includes programme viewing on tablets and PCs, and viewing to programmes that haven’t featured in a linear schedule. Total three-screen viewing is reported across all private homes with a TV set or a broadband connection. Viewing is counted as having taken place at the time of viewing.

Smartphones will be included in this new definition once router meter data are available. Router meters are currently being installed into the BARB panel, with full deployment expected by the end of 2020. The initial publication date for data from the meters is expected in early 2021.

Our new definition of television viewing has an impact on reach. Total three-screen viewing includes homes that don’t have a TV set but do have a broadband connection. People in these homes are less likely to be television viewers as they don’t have a TV set; we measure their viewing on tablets and PCs. There is an increase in the actual number of viewers when we include broadband-only homes in the universe. But this increase in the number of viewers is not as big as the increase in number of people in the universe; this is why the proportion (reach) of people viewing will be lower than in the previous definition, C7 TV set.

BARB can now report that 6.1m people watched television on a PC or tablet over the 4-week period to the 12th January 2020. 417k of these people did not watch any television on a TV set over the same period.

BARB customers are now able to conduct more extensive analyses of unduplicated multiple-screen programme reach, such as reach analyses for PCs and tablets and incremental reach analyses for these devices over TV sets. For example, the chart below shows that the TV set 28-day reach for the first episode of Gold Digger on BBC1 was 7.476 million. The PC & tablet 28-day reach was 415k, of which 272k hadn’t also watched any part of that episode on a TV set, an uplift of 3.7% on TV set 28-day reach. This incremental viewing brings the total unique 28-day reach across all devices to 7.749 million.

It’s important to note that the Total Three-Screen Viewing reach and share data in our new weekly viewing summary report are reported on a four-week basis, as 28-day reach is our recommended basis for analysis. This is because the model used to produce these new PC and tablet reach figures is designed to achieve the most accurate estimates of reach over this period. Further information on our recommended analyses for the multiple-screen programme reach data can be found in the multiple-screen viewing FAQs.