BARB begins reporting reach and time spent viewing across screens

Tuesday, January 21st, 2020 
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BARB launches multiple-screen programme reach and time spent viewing reporting

BARB, the UK television audience measurement currency, has today begun to report unduplicated programme reach and time spent viewing figures across multiple screens, marking the third deliverable from the four-stage Project Dovetail initiative*.

The new figures are reported on a daily basis across three screens (TV sets, tablets and PCs), and are available through existing data-processing tools and bureaux.

BARB’s website features a new weekly viewing summary report, which provides channel and PC/tablet reach, share and time spent viewing data based on BARB’s new definition of total TV, total three-screen viewing**, that takes place within a rolling four-week period. Weekly data based on the previous definition of total TV, C7 TV set viewing (consolidated seven-day TV set viewing) are reported alongside for continuity.

BARB customers and data-processing bureaux can access daily respondent-level data within the new cross-platform panel viewing file (PVX), allowing more extensive analysis of unduplicated multiple-screen programme reach and time spent viewing. Users can conduct programme reach analyses for PCs and tablets, and incremental programme reach analyses for these devices over TV sets.

Justin Sampson, BARB’s Chief Executive, said: “Today’s launch marks the third phase of Project Dovetail, which meets the industry’s need for a trusted multiple-screen viewing currency. We began reporting census-level data for BVOD programmes in 2015, and then launched multiple-screen programme ratings in 2018. Now we are delivering unduplicated reach and time spent viewing across TV sets, tablets and PCs.

“The fourth phase focuses on the performance of advertising campaigns across linear and BVOD formats. While we ensure these reach and frequency data meet the standards expected of BARB, the industry will have a beta campaign planning tool that projects the incremental reach delivered by BVOD services. We expect this to be ready for user testing in late March.”

The new multiple-screen programme reach data benefit from the launch on January 1st of a new content ID system. In this system, linear and online content are linked across platforms; episodes are consistently linked to programmes; programme titles are standardised; and all programmes are independently assigned with a genre. This means that the Dovetail Fusion process which creates the new multiple-screen programme reach data can generate more accurate demographic profiles for viewing on non-TV devices.

* Project Dovetail was established by BARB to meet the industry’s need to understand how viewers are watching television on devices other than the TV set. There are four stages:

  1. Collecting and reporting device-based census data – BARB launched these in the BVOD services report (formerly the TV Player report), in 2015.
  2. Programme average audiences – BARB began to report multiple-screen programme audience figures across four screens (TV sets, tablets, PCs and smartphones) in September 2018. BARB customers can also analyse demographic profiles across TV sets, tablets and PCs.
  3. Unduplicated multiple-screen reach and time spent viewing – launched on January 21st 2020.
  4. BVOD campaign performance – in development, with an expected launch date in the first half of next year.

** The multiple-screen programme reach and time spent viewing data are based on a new definition of total TV called total three-screen viewing, which encompasses the new forms of viewing that BARB now reports:

  • Timeshift viewing on TV sets (either via a BVOD service or a recorded playback) up to 28 days after broadcast
  • Pre-broadcast / non-linear programme viewing (subject to the broadcaster supplying BARB with the programme asset)
  • Viewing on tablets and PCs (smartphone viewing will be included once router meter data are available)
  • Viewing in private homes that don’t have a TV set but do have a broadband connection

Links: BARB