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Barb to expand audience measurement to incl. fit-for-TV content on video-sharing platforms

Barb, the industry’s standard for understanding what people watch, has committed to expanding its measurement of audiences to include fit-for-TV content on video-sharing platforms.

This decision follows an industry consultation led by Barb in autumn 2022. Practitioners from across the UK TV and advertising ecosystem took part to establish a consensus on the type of content on video-sharing platforms that should be part of Barb’s audience measurement.

The consultation revealed an industry-wide consensus on the value of content that’s produced to quality standards that include:

  •  Editorial input and oversight
  • Regulatory compliance, or an intention to deliver content that aligns with prevailing regulation
  • Content that provides a safe and suitable environment for advertisers

Content that meets all these quality benchmarks is fit for TV.

Barb already measures broadcaster content on YouTube with the collaboration of the broadcasters and is committed to extending these existing capabilities.

The consultation also highlighted the importance of understanding the viewing experience and that audience reporting should include contextual factors, such as content in view, device in use and sound on or off.

In light of these findings, Barb has committed to expanding its reporting of audiences to include fit-for-TV content on video-sharing platforms. It is also exploring ways of reporting all content on video-sharing platforms that is produced in line with industry-accepted standards of brand safety.

In November 2021, Barb introduced daily audience reporting for SVOD, AVOD and video-sharing platforms at a service level. In addition, it also began to report programme audiences for shows on the leading pure-play VOD services. Disney+ and Netflix subsequently signed up to join Barb.

In recognition of these developments, Barb has changed its company name to Barb Audiences Ltd*. The change reflects its heritage of over 40 years of continuous innovation and its ambition to continue extending the industry’s standard measurement across TV companies, VOD streamers and video-sharing platforms.

Justin Sampson, Chief Executive, Barb, said:
“We’re appreciative of the deep trust the industry has in our track record for delivering an understanding of what people watch. Yet we also hear a clear call to go further. We’ve made great strides to report audiences for VOD streaming services and are delighted Disney+ and Netflix have recognised the value of the insight we deliver.

“Our new brand positioning builds both on our heritage of continuous innovation and our forward-looking approach to measure viewing behaviour that isn’t constrained by devices, distribution platform or business model.

“We don’t yet have all the answers for how and when we will extend our reporting of content on video-sharing platforms. Equally we know our capabilities are always enhanced by the active participation of businesses that make content and the platforms that distribute it.” BCS Bureau

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