BARB looks to future following Netflix move

Following Netflix’s landmark decision to sign with BARB to measure audiences in support of its ad-supported streaming offering, the UK audience research organisation is moving ahead to extend it measurement metrics and reach out to other walled-garden streaming services, according to Matt Laycock, audiences director at BARB.

Speaking at Mediatel’s Future of TV Advertising Global event in London yesterday, Laycock said that BARB has already been working with walled garden services. The outfit is now measuring total identified viewing measuring reach across four screens. The biggest slice of viewing is still taken by broadcasters. The TV is still the dominant screen, he said.

To this, BARB is now able to add total AVOD and SVOD services, reaching 75% of the total audience in the UK, averaging 37 minutes daily compared with 162 minutes daily for linear TV from broadcasters, said Laycock.

Citing BARB research, Laycock said that Netflix accounts for 20 minutes per day, with nine going to Prime Video and seven to Disney+, leaving one minute per day for all other services.

He said it is important for BARB to measure all services that people engage with, adding that the audience research outfit is also measuring user generated platforms. The latter are mostly viewed on smartphones rather than TV, highlighting the fact that TV is no longer the only screen on which TV-like services can be consumed.

Earlier this year BARB consulted on defining TV-like content on user generated platforms.

Laycock said that “marking your own homework” – a description often levelled at walled-garden services – is not sufficient for the industry and BARB is committed to extend its measurement to all platforms.

He said that Netflix’s decision reinforces BARB’s commitment to inclusivity. BARB is now looking to go further by securing the full participation of services it reports.

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