NEWS9 September 2014

BARB adds tablet viewing

News UK

UK — The Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB) has added a measurement technique to capture panellists’ viewing on iPads and Android tablets for the first time.


In a bid to reflect the change in viewing behaviour, and the rise of people watching TV on their tablet devices, BARB has introduced a new measurement developed by Kantar Media.

Initially it will be used in BARB panel homes that already have a software meter installed for tracking viewing on desktop and laptop computers. BARB anticipates that around half of these homes have tablet devices that require monitoring. The company said the roll-out will be carefully controlled to maintain the size and balance of the overall panel and data would be published as it becomes available over the next few months.

While the proportion of viewing on electronic devices remains low — current estimates are that about 2% of all TV viewing time is online TV via computer devices — this figure is expected to rise and BARB has faced criticism from some quarters that its panel didn’t include this form of viewing.

Jonathan Allan, sales director of Channel 4, said: “This is fantastic news because of the extremely rapid rate at which tablets have become part of our daily lives. UK broadcasters have developed compelling apps for our viewers to watch their favourite live and on-demand programmes. BARB and Kantar have overcome research and technical challenges to deliver this solution and we look forward to using the insights they generate.”

Justin Sampson, chief executive of BARB, said: “The ability to track how our panel members watch television on their tablets is another staging post for the delivery of Project Dovetail. It is also the catalyst for us to build a new panel of homes that have broadband connections but no TV sets. Additionally, we now plan to accelerate deployment in our panel of the software meters that track viewing on laptop, desktop and tablet computers.”

Project Dovetail is a hybrid measurement system that BARB is working toward — using panel data and census-based site-centric data — that will deliver full cross-platform reporting.