Barb audience data will now include SVOD services Netflix, Amazon and Disney

The Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (Barb) has upgraded its audience reporting to include subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) and video-sharing platform measurement.

This means that Barb will now measure the reach and total time spent viewing SVOD services such as Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and Netflix, as well as video-sharing platforms such as TikTok, Twitch and YouTube, regardless of whether these services have chosen to subscribe to Barb. This information will be collated through data collected from router meters installed in Barb panel homes.

In addition, Barb can report the audiences for specific programmes viewed on TV sets on the most-watched SVOD services in Barb panel homes (Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and Netflix), regardless of their Barb subscribers status, by using Kantar’s SVOD programme measurement system.

Justin Sampson, chief executive of Barb, said: “Understanding people is at the heart of Barb’s remit and it’s been clear for some time that streaming services have started to attract viewers who have traditionally relied solely on linear channels for their viewing entertainment.

“It’s great news for the television and advertising industry that we’re upgrading our always-on measurement service to include SVOD and video-sharing platforms. For the first time there is audience measurement for these services that bears all the hallmarks of a joint-industry currency: independence, objectivity and transparency.”

Using the new data that is now available, Barb has reported the most-watched programmes across all broadcast channels and streaming services in October 2021. BBC 1’s Strictly Come Dancing reached 10.4 million viewers, followed by Channel 4’s The Great British Bake Off (8.9 million) and ITV’s The Larkins (6.6 million).

Netflix’s Squid Game ranked in 10th place with 5.8 million viewers, with a further three Netflix shows and one Disney+ title, Black Widow, placed in the top 100 most-watched programmes in October. Amazon Prime Video’s highest-ranked entry did not make it into the top 100 for this calendar month.

As a result of these new audience-reporting capabilities, Barb has updated its definition of total television viewing to “total identified viewing” with three constituent parts:

  • Total broadcaster viewing – time spent watching linear broadcast channels and BVOD services, including live viewing, pre- and post-broadcast viewing and viewing to archive box-sets on a BVOD service. Viewing is reported across four screens (TV sets, tablets, PCs and smartphones). For tagged services, this includes any viewing streamed through something other than the home Wi-Fi network.
  • Total SVOD/AVOD viewing – time spent viewing 16 VOD services, including Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and Netflix, on four screens. This only includes viewing through a home’s Wi-Fi network.
  • Total video-sharing viewing – time spent viewing platforms such as TikTok, Twitch and YouTube, on four screens, through a home’s Wi-Fi network.

Image credit: Paul Ellis/ AFP via Getty Images


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