What is BARB's scope for audience measurement? BARB delivers a joint industry audience currency for television programmes and associated commercial activity. Our daily reporting has always provided audience estimates for viewing through TV sets. Total three-screen viewing, our new definition of total TV, encompasses the new forms of viewing that BARB reports: tablets and PCs, non-linear programme box sets, 8-28 day catch-up and viewing in broadband-only homes. We also report four-screen programme average audiences for all individuals. This includes viewing on smartphones. We expect to launch multiple-screen advertising campaign performance at a later date – please visit our multiple-screen viewing FAQs for more information on this. Beyond the development of multiple-screen viewing, our customers’ primary requirements are to track use of new commercial formats, such as addressable advertising, and to understand how much time is spent watching SVOD services and other online platforms. Will BARB provide the trading currency for BVOD campaigns? There is no change to the industry-agreed trading currency. This is consolidated seven-day commercial impacts on TV sets. Multiple-screen advertising campaign performance will be published for planning purposes. This reflects other parts of BARB reporting, such as 8-28 day timeshift and dynamically inserted advertising, which are not part of the industry-agreed trading currency. How does BARB deal with dynamic ad insertion? BARB was the first television industry currency in the world to deliver a measurement of dynamic ad insertion. Our service is designed to achieve two objectives. We report an aggregate level of commercial impacts that are attributable to dynamically inserted ads. We ensure that these commercial impacts are not attributed to advertisers whose linear ads have been swapped out for dynamically inserted ads. We currently deliver this solution for Sky’s Adsmart service, although we don’t provide a verification service for individual Adsmart campaigns. We are working with other platforms and channels with the objective of delivering equivalent reporting for other dynamic ad insertion propositions. See this BARB Explained for more on how we report dynamically served advertising. Can BARB measure audiences for SVOD services like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix? BARB can measure viewing to SVOD services in the same way that we report our panel members’ viewing to non-linear programmes. This requires the co-operation of the service providers. The solution relies on service providers or rights owners providing us with copies of their programme assets. This material is added to the audio reference library that’s used to determine which programmes have been watched by our panel members. This solution could be used by SVOD service providers, or by rights owners of content distributed through any SVOD service. We track the popularity of SVOD services through our Establishment Survey, which has been asking questions about subscriptions to SVOD services take-up since 2014. Our quarterly tracker of the number of UK homes with an SVOD service is here. We are also exploring how router meters can be deployed in panel homes to deliver an aggregate level of viewing to SVOD services. Can BARB measure viewing on online video services like YouTube and Facebook? We commissioned a cross-industry consultation in response to the question of whether BARB can apply our data collection and reporting techniques to online video services. The consultation comprised of 35 interviews with businesses in different parts of the industry, including advertisers, agencies, broadcasters and social media platforms. The consultation confirmed that the joint industry currency principles that underpin BARB should not be weakened or compromised by the inclusion of online video services; independence, objectivity and transparency are enshrined in these principles. It was also clear that the addition of any online video services should not impact on the integrity of our data collection and reporting methodology. The consultation also confirmed that advertisers and agencies expect a cross-platform audience currency to be comparable with the television audience currency. This is with regards to: a) equivalent duration-based viewing metrics, b) the facility to assess campaign performance by editorial environment, such as programme or genre, and c) calculating reach and frequency for placements that meet industry-agreed standards for brand safety. BARB will talk to any channel or platform that’s prepared to be reported in line with these expectations. Will BARB use data from television platform operators to improve the robustness of its audience data? BARB is committed to reducing data variability. Building bigger samples is a route to achieving this. In this context, we have been investigating how we can work with third-party data sources, such as information collected by television platform operators from set-top boxes. These data are often called return-path data. There are many valuable applications of return-path data. The question for BARB is whether we can harness these data in the context of our need to deliver representative reporting of how people across the UK are watching television programmes. Our investigations show the value of return-path data is enhanced when we have information about the people who live in the home that the data are retrieved from. Knowing the profile of the household members allows us to reduce the margin of error in our calculations of the number of people viewing, by demographic group, in each home. For this reason, it would be preferable to have return-path data from a sample of, say, 25k homes who have completed a household composition questionnaire, rather than having return-path data from millions of homes with no information about the people who live in them. BARB needs to consider the impact of integrating any third-party data source on the audience levels we report across the whole population. Our investigations show that using third-party data from only one platform destabilises viewing figures for channels that are watched across multiple platforms. As a joint industry currency, BARB would need to work closely with all platform operators to generate a sample of return-path data that delivers value across the board. We don’t currently have this level of cooperation. In this context, BARB is focussing on the option of building a bigger panel of homes that is representative of the whole UK. RSMB worked with BARB on these investigations. A fuller explanation of RSMB’s findings was presented by Steve Wilcox at ASI Athens in November 2018; you can read his presentation here. Will BARB use registration data that broadcasters collect from viewers of BVOD services? BARB is open to further exploration of how registration data collected from viewers by broadcasters might be used as part of our audience measurement services. Any initiative would naturally need to comply with privacy legislation. Broadcasters are developing valuable applications for registration data, often with the objective of helping viewers find more programmes of the type they prefer to watch. The question for BARB is whether we can harness registration data in the context of our need to deliver representative reporting of how people across the UK are watching television programmes. The use of registration data is analogous to the use of return-path data from platform operators, which we have investigated more extensively. You can read our position on return-path data in the above question & answer. Registration data have an advantage over return-path data as demographic information is built into the registration process. This is beneficial for any data integration, although we have to bear in mind that this demographic information is held at an individual level. It won’t include information about other household members who might be watching, and we can’t be certain the registered individual is one of the people in front of the screen. As with return-path data, we need to consider the impact of integrating any third-party registration data on the audience levels we report across the whole population. BARB is a joint industry currency, so we would need to work closely with all broadcasters to optimise the value of using registration data.