A breakthrough in internet TV audience measurement

Kantar Media has been appointed by BARB (Broadcasters' Audience Research Board) to collect and report census data for online TV viewing in the UK across all devices. This is a ground breaking development that measures the number of viewers downloading or streaming TV content across computers, smartphones and tablets.

The innovative collaboration to measure and report viewing of top TV programmes and ads on any device means that from later this year the enhanced BARB service will measure IP delivered TV services  [i] as well as over the air transmissions. The latter still represents the majority of television viewing in the UK's 26 million TV households.

The TV Player Report is targeted to be launched by the end of this year and is the first step towards BARB being able to dovetail census and panel measurement of TV viewing, making each more meaningful for broadcasters and advertisers.

In a related development, field tests in the early summer will lead to the roll-out of a solution for measuring BARB panellists' viewing on tablets and smartphones by the end of the year. This will supplement the tracking of computer viewing in BARB panel homes that is possible as a result of Kantar Media's VirtualMeter being installed in all new panel homes since the end of 2012.

"We are delighted to be enhancing the gold-standard UK TV audience measurement service," commented Richard Asquith, Global CEO, Kantar Media Audiences. "As television viewing continues to evolve, Kantar Media is committed to delivering audience measurement on all devices, enabling broadcasters and advertisers to understand the changing habits of consumers. We are proud to be asked by BARB to work with them on this ground-breaking development and look forward to applying this new thinking to other TV measurement currencies."

Commenting on the announcement Justin Sampson, Chief Executive at BARB, said: "This news is pivotal as BARB will track audiences using metadata tags for the first time. Our initial focus is on reporting the extent to which IP content is being downloaded or streamed. This is a significant step forward in our ambition to deliver cross-platform measurement of content."

Kantar Media is already a major contractor to BARB and this recent contract was awarded following a competitive tender process involving both traditional and pure-play online competitors.

[i] TV player services including 4oD, BBC iPlayer, Demand 5, ITV Player and Sky Go