BARB in talks with Sky & Virgin about viewing habits

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Asian family viewing TV
Audience measuring body, BARB has begun talks with Sky and Virgin Media about gaining access to their customers’ viewing habits.

BroadcastNow reports that the data will help in filling gaps in BARB’s TV Player report, which does not include on-demand viewing via connected TVs. Furthermore, it will future-proof its 5,100 panel used to measure traditional audiences.

The publication adds that BARB has conducted tests with Sky with data from 3m homes. It is now hoping to extend that data from other providers. BARB will able to retrieve habits from viewers, who have connecting their set-top boxes to the Internet to watch online services.

BARB chief executive Justin Sampson told the publication, ���We have to acknowledge that because of the way the panel works there is some volatility in the audience numbers we produce for some lower viewing occasions ��� whether that be channels that have particularly niche audience or niche programmes on larger channels.One of the advantages we see to work with return-path data is to reduce the volatility in the audience numbers. The panel is good at many things but it will be enhanced by bringing in device data whether that be from the TV player apps data or the more granular data that the set-top box operators are collecting.�۝

The report concluded with Sky saying it was building its own database but stressed that it was not planning to compete with BARB.

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