BARB announces new contracts

5 November 2014

BARB has announced a fresh approach to the way it is commissioning two of its four main research contracts.

To date there have been separate contracts for:

‣ conducting the establishment survey, which provides data on the demographic, device and platform landscape, and

‣ recruiting homes onto the panel so that there is a balanced, representative sample of the UK population.

BARB plans to combine these into one contract, effective from January 2016. This means the establishment survey interviewers will be responsible for recruiting eligible homes onto the panel.

This decision follows a successful pilot study that BARB commissioned at the beginning of 2014. The pilot study demonstrated that this approach leads to a reduction of up to 90 days in the time between a home being contacted for the establishment survey and, if successfully recruited, becoming an active participant in the BARB panel.

The pilot study also confirmed that the new approach is effective at delivering recruitment rates, installation rates and panel balance in line with BARB’s expectations. BARB commissioned Ipsos-MORI to conduct the pilot study.

A tender process for the new contract will begin with immediate effect. The specification will be available to prospective tenderers in Q1 2015, with a contract award expected by the end of Q2 2015. The new contract will come into force from January 2016.

BARB is also announcing that the two other major contracts that make up the BARB service have been extended until the end of 2018. These are for:

‣ survey design and methodology, a contract operated by RSMB, and

‣ panel management, meter installation, data collection and data production, a contract operated by Kantar Media.

Simon Bolus, Research Director, BARB, said:

“It is vital that we continually assess the best way to maximise the effectiveness of our approach to gathering data and ensuring the health of our panel. It remains the bedrock of the TV measurement system and we are convinced that this approach will be easier for our panel members, as well as more efficient”.

None of the above changes form part of the Dovetail project, which is a separate tender process.

For more information, call Caroline Marshall on 020 8240 1056 or Charlotte Martin on 020 7024 8115. Alternatively, write to

Notes to editors :

BARB (Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board) provides official viewing figures for UK television audiences. Its principal funders are BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, IPA (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising), ITV and Sky. Advertisers are represented at board level through ISBA.

On behalf of these organisations and other subscribers, BARB commissions specialist research companies Ipsos MORI, Kantar Media and RSMB to collect data that represent the television viewing behaviour of the UK’s 26 million TV households.

Currently BARB has four principal contracts that enable delivery of the TV measurement data. These, alongside the current research providers, are listed below :

‣ Survey design and methodology (RSMB)

‣ Establishment survey (Ipsos-MORI)

‣ Panel recruitment (Kantar Media)

‣ Panel management, meter installation, data collection, data production (Kantar Media)

BARB viewing data give broadcasters, advertisers and other interested parties a minute-by-minute breakdown of viewing at regional and national levels. This information is vital in assessing how programmes, channels or advertising campaigns have performed and provides the basis for airtime advertising trading.