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BARB begins measuring multiple-screen viewing

Will begin producing daily audience figures for those watching on TV sets, tablets, PCs and smartphones

From today, BARB will begin measuring the different way viewers consume content.

For the first time it will break down how viewers watch, be it on TV, tablet, PC or smartphone.

The multiple-screen viewing figures are the output of Project Dovetail, BARB’s initiative to meet the television and advertising industry’s need to understand how viewers are watching television on devices other than the TV set.

BARB says the complexity of the project means they are launching the initiative in three stages, with the first being programme average audiences. Figures show the number of people watching programmes across each of the four screens. They will be published eight days after transmission, with back-dated figures available for programmes broadcast from 27th August onwards. The information will be available via the BARB website

The second stage, multiple-screen reach and time spent viewing, will report the extent to which tablets and PCs increase the number of viewers and average weekly viewing time for BARB-reported channels. Headline reach and time spent viewing data will be available on the BARB website, while BARB subscribers will also have access to more complex analysis through data-processing bureaux. The launch date for this stage is TBC.

BARB says the third and final stage of the process, multiple-screen advertising campaign performance, is in development, with the delivery timetable to be finalised. 

Justin Sampson, BARB’s chief executive, said: “Today we reach another milestone in the delivery of Project Dovetail, which is designed to meet industry expectations for a trusted cross-platform audience currency. This is an ambitious project, as there are many challenges in delivering multiple-screen audience figures to the rigorous standards expected of a joint industry currency such as BARB.

“Three critical ingredients enable us to extend our gold standard to cover viewing on tablets, PCs and smartphones. We have representative, observational data that show how people watch on different devices. We also have an independently-collected, census-level count of viewing to BVOD services. And we have smart algorithms that fuel the day-to-day integration of these two high-quality, complementary data sources.”