Advanced Television

BARB to report SVoD data

November 25, 2021

The Broadcasters Audience Research Board (BARB), an organisation that compiles audience measurement and television ratings in the UK, has announced that it will soon introduce viewing figures for SVoD and video-sharing platforms into its daily reporting to the TV and advertising industry.

In a statement, BARB said: “From November 29th, we will complete a once-in-a-generation upgrade in our audience reporting when we extend our services to cover SVoD and video-sharing platforms. The television and advertising industry will now have access to independent, objective and transparent measurement of audiences to streaming services, even without their active participation in BARB. It is also a defining moment because our new audience-reporting capabilities have implications for our definitions of total viewing. And definitions isn’t a typo — having more than one definition is a by-product of our transparency. BARB always aims for an impartial presentation of the whole picture.

BARB added it has a new headline definition — Total identified viewing — with three constituent parts:

• Total broadcaster viewing represents the time spent watching linear broadcast channels and broadcaster-owned VoD services (BVoD). This includes live viewing, as well as pre- and post-broadcast viewing, and viewing to archive box-sets on a BVoD service. BARB captures and reports online viewing across four screens — TV sets, tablets, PCs and smartphones — by gathering information about what is streamed through the home WiFi network. If services are tagged, BARB can also include viewing that’s streamed through a mobile data network or downloaded and watched offline.

• Total SVoD/AVoD viewing is a new definition that BARB says reflects its ability to track how people watch VoD services provided by streaming businesses. BARB collects time spent viewing 16 VoD services — notably Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and Netflix — most of which rely on subscription income. BARB will report viewing on all four screens, although this only includes viewing through a home’s WiFi network as these services aren’t tagged.

• Total video-sharing viewing will include — again on all four screens — use of platforms such as TikTok, Twitch and YouTube. As with the SVoD/AVoD category, BARB’s audience reporting for video-sharing platforms only includes viewing through a home WiFi network.

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