BARB Explained

BARB Explained: Lifestyle Insights

3 May 2019

Last month, we looked at how BARB customers can use dynamic target groups to analyse viewing behaviour. But what else do we know about our panellists, and how does this additional information relate to their television viewing patterns?

Whenever a household joins our panel, we ask all individuals aged 16+ in the home to complete our Lifestyle Insights questionnaire. This questionnaire comprises of around 30 questions on the respondent’s lifestyle, including holidays, leisure activities, car ownership, supermarket choice and media consumption, as well as some attitudinal statements. Panellists are invited to fill out the questionnaire every two years after joining the panel, and the questions are also updated every couple of years.

The answers to the Lifestyle Insights questionnaire are also known as Additional Panel Classifications. These can be examined in conjunction with BARB panel viewing data to allow television viewing to be analysed according to the lifestyle interests and habits of panel members.

For example, one of the Lifestyle Insights questions asks panellists which, if any, daily newspapers or newspaper websites they read or looked at yesterday. We can look at the answers to this question together with our panel data, to find out which newspaper readers correspond with the highest average daily minutes of television viewing.

The chart shows that Daily Record and Daily Star readers watch the highest number of average daily minutes of television, followed by Daily Express, The Sun, Daily Mirror and Daily Mail readers. Metro, Evening Standard and Daily Telegraph readers are close to the UK average of 192.4 average daily minutes of viewing, while readers of i and The Times watch less. Financial Times and Guardian readers watch the fewest average daily minutes of television.

Source: BARB, 2018

Another Lifestyle Insights question asks panellists about the types of holiday they have taken in the past year. Fusing the responses to this question with our panel data gives us insight into the viewing of those panellists that said they had taken a cruise holiday in the past year. By isolating individual channels, we can see which channels these cruise-holidaying individuals were more or less likely to watch than the UK average.

The five channels on the right of the graph are those that these cruise-holidaying individuals were less likely to watch than average; these include two children’s channels and three younger-skewing channels. On the left are the five channels that these cruise- goers were more likely to watch than average; these include three pay TV Sky channels plus ITV3 and BBC2. BARB data show that between 50% and 80% of the audience for all of these latter five channels is drawn from the 55+ demographic. This analysis indicates that the cruise-goers are also likely to be from an older age group.

Source: BARB 2018, selected channels. Index vs UK average (100=average)

These are just some examples of how television viewing can be analysed through the prism of lifestyle interests using the Additional Panel Classifications. BARB customers can analyse our data in this way through BARB-registered data processing bureaux.