Television research company BARB is to increase its representative measurement panel of homes in the United Kingdom from 5,150 to 7,000. It is the largest increase in reporting sample size since the launch of BARB in 1981. BARB has renewed its long-term research contracts to the end of 2029. Kantar will install new metering technology, based on a tablet with a graphic registration system.

BARB will offer audience figures for subscription online video services and video sharing platforms from later this year. It will report ratings and aggregate-level viewing for streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+.

BARB has appointed Kantar to install new metering systems in its representative panel of homes. In the form of a tablet device, it features an avatar-based registration system, intended to engage and motivate panel members to participate in the research.

The Kantar People Meter 7 will be installed in panel homes alongside the existing Kantar Focal Meter to deliver four-screen measurement, including viewing on televisions sets, tablets, phones and computers. This offers the potential for second-by-second measurement, dynamic ad inventory measurement and extended reporting of time-shifted viewing.

Kantar will continue to collect census-level data across all devices on behalf of BARB. This data, from over 70 broadcaster player environments including BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub, reports viewing on all broadcaster video-on-demand services, totalling over 163 billion minutes a year, equivalent to more than 300,000 years of playtime annually.

ABC will continue to audit the implementation of tags that generate this data set, which is fused with data from the panel. RSMB will continue to manage the panel, using machine learning and analytics to enhance its auditing of panel management and monitoring of reported viewing levels. Ipsos-MORI will continue to conduct the Establishment Survey, which recruits homes to the representative panel of homes.

“These decisions underscore the long-term commitment of the UK television and advertising industry to independent, objective and transparent audience measurement,” said Justin Sampson, the chief executive of BARB. “Staying true to the objective of the tender process, BARB has chosen imaginative and engaging solutions that have the versatility to track the full range of linear and on-demand services viewers can choose from.”

These measurement contracts will continue to the end of the decade. While television audiences are generally declining, measurement across multiple channels and platforms has become more complex. What will be interesting to see is how viewing of online video services like Netflix, Amazon and Disney+ compares to broadcast programming when measured in the same terms.