I read this week that starting from August, TV ratings in the UK will also include Internet TV viewing as part of the figures. The Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB), the official TV ratings body in the UK, has revealed it would start measuring for the first time TV usage across computer devices, including tablets.
This means that BARB will start providing official measurement of the number of people downloading or streaming TV shows on desktop PCs, laptops, smartphones and tablets. The body will also have a “gold standard” report into TV viewing on catch-up services such as 4oD, BBC iPlayer, Demand 5, ITV Player and Sky Go.
BARB will also start testing a “ground-breaking app” in the coming weeks that is expected to pave the way for a tool that measures BARB panellists’ viewing on smartphones and tablets by the end of 2013. The system will add to the computer viewing already used in 700 panel homes.
Commenting on the move, BARB chief executive Justin Sampson said it was “pivotal,” as the body will track audiences using metadata tags for the first time. BARB will initially focus on reporting the level to which content is downloaded or streamed. This is part of its greater plan to provide cross-platform measurement of content. The next stage is to invite researchers to tender for the task of incorporating this information with the viewing figures that users are already familiar with, Sampson added.
BARB expects to publish its first TV Player report later in 2013.