BARB Explained

BARB Explained: Dynamic targeting

25 April 2019
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BARB’s most well-known data are programme ratings; you can find the weekly most-watched programmes across four screens in our four-screen viewing dashboard. But programme viewing figures are just the tip of the iceberg; in this BARB Explained, we’ll look at how BARB customers can use dynamic targeting groups for more in-depth interrogation of our data.

Dynamic targets are defined by viewing behaviour rather than demographic information, such as “all viewers of Coronation Street last week” rather than “adults ABC1”. It is possible to create dynamic target groups based on viewing to spots, breaks, programmes, days, weeks, months, years or any combination of these.

Whether you are a TV buyer, scheduler or airtime sales executive, you might want to know where viewers go after watching a certain programme – do they switch over to a competing channel? Dynamic target groups enable you to follow this audience migration.

In the event of two similar programmes airing at the same time on different channels, dynamic targeting can be used to find out how much the clash might have impacted on live viewing. For example, at 8pm on January 5th 2019, talent show fans had a choice between The Voice on ITV or The Greatest Dancer on BBC1. By creating dynamic target audiences of the live viewing to one programme, we can then track those viewers to see whether they subsequently watched the other – and if so, we can theorise that, without the clash, they might have watched the other programme live.

The analysis shows that The Voice had 4.5m live viewers; 269k of its 7-day timeshift viewers watched after having seen Greatest Dancer live – a potential 5.9% uplift on its live audience. A further 1.5m timeshift viewers hadn’t watched Greatest Dancer live, giving a total 7-day consolidated audience of 6.3m. On the other hand, 4.1m people watched Greatest Dancer live; 271k of 7-day timeshift viewers watched after having seen The Voice live – a potential 6.6% uplift on its live audience. A further 1.1m timeshift viewers didn’t watch The Voice live, giving a total audience of 5.5m.

Source: BARB

Dynamic target groups also enable users to track the viewers that keep watching throughout the ad break of a programme. By creating a dynamic target based on the audience for the last five minutes of a programme before the break, users can then calculate the percentage of those viewers that were watching for each minute of the break, as well as the percentage present in the first five minutes of the following programme segment. This can be useful information for TV buyers deciding where in the break to place their commercial.

It’s also possible to find out where viewers go when they switch away during ad breaks – whether it’s to another channel or away from the TV set, perhaps to put the kettle on – as well as how long they stay there and if they come back.

BARB customers can analyse our data in this way through BARB-registered data processing bureaux. Look out for a forthcoming BARB Explained, in which we’ll look at the insight you can gain from another BARB data output.