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‘Squid Game’ debuts on audience measurement chart as BARB upgrades to SVOD reporting

Netflix’s “Squid Game” and “The Guilty” have debuted on BARB, the U.K. television audience measurement currency, as the organization has revealed a “once-in-a-generation upgrade.”

Subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) and video-sharing platform measurement has been introduced in BARB’s service bouquet.

BARB is now able to measure the reach and total time spent viewing SVOD services such as Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus and Netflix, and video-sharing platforms like TikTok, Twitch and YouTube. Regardless of whether these services have chosen to subscribe to BARB, measurement is done via data collected from router meters installed in BARB panel homes.

BARB can also now report the audiences to programs viewed on TV sets on the most-watched SVOD services in BARB panel homes — Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus and Netflix — whether they are BARB subscribers or not, using Kantar’s SVOD programme measurement system.

The organization has released a preview chart of its new measurement services that covers all broadcast and streamers in October. This shows that Netflix’s “Squid Game” ranked 10th with 5.7 million viewers, after BBC One’s “Strictly Come Dancing” (10.4 million), Channel 4’s “The Great British Bake Off” (8.8 million) and ITV’s “The Larkins” (6.5 million) in the top three spots respectively.

A further three Netflix shows — “The Guilty, “You” and “Maid” — and one Disney Plus title, “Black Widow,” placed in the top 100 most-watched programmes in October. Amazon Prime Video’s highest-ranked entry didn’t make it into the top 100 for this calendar month.

BARB has now 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 WiFi network.

Total SVOD/AVOD viewing – time spent viewing 16 VOD services, including Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus and Netflix, on four screens. This only includes viewing through a home’s WiFi network.

Total video-sharing viewing –time spent viewing platforms such as TikTok, Twitch and YouTube, on four screens, through a home’s WiFi network.

From January 2022, BARB’s website will feature a regular monthly breakdown of total identified viewing.

Justin Sampson, BARB chief executive, 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,” Sampson added. Variety

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