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What People Watch: BARB and IPA TouchPoints data fusion

15 June 2020
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Welcome to What People Watch, a new series exploring different aspects of how UK audiences are watching television now. In this week’s edition, we explore the type of behavioural insight that can gained from the new BARB and IPA TouchPoints-fused dataset.

TV set viewing to BARB-reported channels

For the week ending June 7th (calendar week 23), consolidated 7-day TV set viewing to BARB-reported channels was 191 minutes per day. As indicated by the preliminary live and same-day data, this was an increase over week 22, up 15 minutes per day, to the highest level since week 20.

Unidentified viewing for week 23 was 87 minutes a day, also up compared to the previous week.

Preliminary live and same-day viewing figures for the week-ending June 14th (calendar week 24) indicate that viewing to BARB-reported channels has been fairly stable week-on week, as the level of 176 minutes daily is the same as it was in week 23. So, we may also see consolidated viewing rise to similar levels once the 7-day data are available. Unidentified viewing in week 24 saw a slight decline versus last week, to 82 minutes daily.

BARB and IPA TouchPoints data fusion

In March 2020, BARB launched an integration with IPA TouchPoints. IPA TouchPoints data have been added to demographically-similar BARB panellists, resulting in a fused dataset. As a result, the richer IPA TouchPoints classifications can be used to analyse BARB’s daily audience data.

This means that, for example, we can use take the IPA TouchPoints classification of vegetarians, and profile their television viewing:

The chart above looks at which programmes vegetarians were more likely to watch compared with all adults in April and May 2020. It shows that sitcoms, dramas and documentaries were key viewing moments for vegetarians.

Using the BARB and IPA TouchPoints data fusion to find out about SVOD and online video viewers

At present, BARB does not report viewing to SVOD services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video or online video services such as YouTube; we believe that these services comprise a large proportion of unidentified viewing. Router meter data will enable us to begin to report viewing to these services at an aggregate level from early next year. In the meantime, IPA TouchPoints measures consumption of these services, which means we can analyse the fused dataset to find out whether the rise in unidentified viewing during lockdown has been driven by heavy users of these services.

Before the UK went into lockdown, 45% of heavy Netflix, Amazon and YouTube users’ TV set usage was unidentified. Lockdown occurred in week 12 and at that point, their unidentified viewing rose to 51% of their TV set usage, and continued to rise. While there was a similar trend among all adults, it was from a much lower share of unidentified viewing as a percentage of TV set usage, rising from 21% to 25% at the start of lockdown.

Further analysis of users of Netflix, Amazon and YouTube shows that they are lighter linear TV viewers than average, watching just over two hours of BARB-reported channels a day in April (versus more than four hours for all adults). However, the fused dataset enables us to find out what heavy users of these services are most likely to watch on BARB-reported channels, so an advertiser would know where they have the best chance of reaching them.

Looking at heavy/medium Netflix users specifically, the programme they were most likely to have watched on BARB-reported channels in April and May 2020 was Come Dine with Me, but they clearly also have a taste for youthful comedy and monsters of all kinds:

Heavy/medium YouTube users’ top programmes on BARB-reported channels are similar, but films feature more prominently. Meanwhile, the stand-out feature of heavy/medium Amazon users’ top programmes is the importance of Channel 5.

This is just a fragment of the data that are available to users of the fused BARB-IPA TouchPoints dataset. To find out more about this, please contact jim.jarrett@barb.co.uk.

Rhian Feather, Connections Planning Executive Business Director, OMD UK, gives her perspective on the data fusion in BARB’s Viewing Report.

Jim Jarrett, Research Manager, BARB

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