UK measurement firm Barb to look at audiences on video-sharing platforms

Justin Sampson

Following months of consultation with industry stakeholders, UK-based audience measurement firm Barb has committed to expanding its analysis of audience media consumption to include ‘fit for TV content on video-sharing platforms.

Practitioners from across the UK TV and advertising ecosystem took part in the process to establish a consensus on the type of content that should be covered by Barb. The result is that Barb plans to measure content that has editorial input and oversight; is regulatory compliant; and provides a safe and suitable environment for advertisers. Content that meets all these benchmarks will be designated “fit for TV”.

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. In light of the latest 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. 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.

Justin Sampson, chief executive, Barb, said: “We don’t yet have all the answers for how and when we will extend our reporting of content on video-sharing platforms. But we hear a clear call to go further. We know our capabilities are always enhanced by the participation of businesses that make content and the platforms that distribute it.”

In recognition of the proposed developments, Barb has changed its company name to Barb Audiences Ltd. “Our new brand positioning builds both on our heritage and our forward-looking approach to measure viewing behaviour that isn’t constrained by devices, distribution platform or business model,” explained Sampson.

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