BARB lifestyle insights survey released

14 December 2004

Headline findings from BARB’s new Lifestyle Insights survey are released for the first time this week.

The findings will provide hundreds of additional characteristics about the behaviour, spending and lifestyle of adults in the UK to the TV and advertising industry. This will better allow organisations to identify potential target groups, target airtime, and increase understanding of viewer behaviour and motivations.

Examples of findings from the survey include:

  • 11% of adults said they had spent over £100 on audio CDs and tapes within the past year. The most active age group were 25-34 year olds, 19% of whom spent at this level.
  • 43% of all adults said they had used e-mail at home within the past month, and over half of 16-44 year olds had done so. Across all age groups, people were more likely to use e-mail at home than at work. 25% of adults had used e-mail at work within the same period, with 25-44 year-olds most likely to do so.
  • 16% of adults regularly arrive home from work before 5 pm, while 9% get home after 7 pm.
  • 6% of adults said they had used the web to buy a package holiday abroad in the past year. The 25-34 year-old age group showed the most propensity to book online, with 11% of them having done so.
  • 9% of drivers have a car that is less than a year old, while 19% drive a car that is over 10 years old.
  • Around a quarter of adults said they had used their home PC to shop on-line in the past month. 25-44-year-olds were most likely to shop on-line (37% of this age group having done so in the past month) but among older adults the habit has yet to become widespread.
  • Almost half of 55-64 year olds and two-thirds of those over normal retirement age live in a home that is owned outright. By contrast only 9% of 35-44 year olds live in such a home; this age group are far more likely to live in a home that is mortgaged.
  • 4% of all adults said they had spent more than £100 on games console games in the past year, with 10% of 16-24 year-olds spending more.

Areas covered by the survey include: general interests and leisure activities; holidays and travel; cars; newspaper readership and radio listening; home and money; computers and the Internet; and business expenditure.

‘This is a major research project, providing high-value insights into the characteristics of the UK population’ said Bjarne Thelin , BARB’s Chief Executive today, ‘We expect that advertisers, broadcasters, programme-makers, media planners and media buyers will be able to gain valuable information from Lifestyle Insights about the nature of the audiences that are being reached.’

Tony Wearn, BARB’s Research Director added ‘The findings of the Lifestyle Insights Survey are of interest in their own right, but the real value is the ability to assess viewing figures against the additional panel classifications that are produced. This means that viewing analysis will be possible on groups of people with similar interests, media choices, or spending patterns.’

The survey was announced in September for an initial two-year period. The data released this week were collected from adults on the BARB TV audience measurement panel during the third quarter of 2004.

Notes for Editors

BARB was set up in 1981 to provide the industry-standard audience measurement service for television broadcasters and the advertising industry. It is a not-for-profit limited company owned by BBC, ITV, Channel 4, five, BSkyB and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.

BARB provides in-home TV viewing measurement for the UK. This is obtained from a panel of 5100 homes. These homes return data from around 11,500 viewers. Viewing from visitors to the home is included (Guest Viewing). Viewing figures are available to subscribers the morning after transmission (Live Viewing). VCR playback is incorporated within seven days of transmission (Consolidated Viewing). Audiences are reported on a minute-by-minute basis.

The panel design is representative of the whole of the UK. People are recruited from all sectors of the population. All viewing environments are represented. Multiple TV sets are measured. BARB measures both analogue and digital delivery via cable, satellite and terrestrial distribution.

Issued by Brown Lloyd James on behalf of BARB. Media enquiries to Sheila Thompson or Moira Whittle on 020 7591 9610.

For further details see