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Amazon Prime Video joins Barb

Amazon Prime Video joins Barb
Amazon Prime 2023 campaign "Joy Ride"

Amazon Prime Video has followed Netflix and Disney+ to become the latest streaming member of UK TV measurement body Barb Audiences, The Media Leader can reveal.

From Friday (1 March), viewing data about Prime Video will be available to Barb subscribers in a move that has not yet been publicised but communicated privately to stakeholders.

Amazon’s decision to join Barb comes within weeks of launching ads on Prime Video. There was already a limited amount of ads served for special programming, such as its Premier League coverage, but advertising is now on all content for consumers who do not pay extra to upgrade to the ad-free version. 

Since the roll-out of the ad tier, Amazon has signed up to UK commercial TV’s marketing body, Thinkbox, whose major shareholders are the country’s biggest broadcasters: ITV, Sky and Channel 4.

Amazon, Disney+, Netflix, Vevo and Warner Bros Discovery join Thinkbox

The Media Leader reported last week that the retail giant had joined Thinkbox alongside Disney+, Netflix, Vevo and Warner Bros Discovery. 

Disney, which has a long history of creating ad-funded TV through its ownership of ABC in the US and sports channel ESPN, joined Barb in July 2021 ahead of launching Disney+ in the UK. 

UK TV landmark as Netflix and Disney become BARB subscribers

Netflix joined Barb in October 2022 and rolled out its ad tier in the UK the following month.

Streaming platforms Paramount+ and Now are also Barb subscribers, given their relationships with Channel 5 and Sky respectively. Barb also measures certain content on YouTube, TikTok and Twitch (also owned by Amazon), although those platforms are not licensees.

For over 40 years, UK TV broadcasters have been joint shareholders in Barb as an independent service that gives advertisers trust in third-party audience measurement for programming and ads.

Matt Cain, director of consulting at media consultancy Oliver & Ohlbaum Associates, said the arrival of global streaming platforms on Barb suggests that “‘TV’ isn’t just TV anymore”.

“The arrival of Amazon helps retain Barb’s relevance as the ‘go to’ provider of audience and advertising measurement and, of course, gives another global giant with an ad-funded tier a route into TV advertising budgets,” Cain said.

Barb declined to comment when contacted by The Media Leader. Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.

Tess Alps, NED, Channel 4, on 03 Mar 2024
“Can I politely suggest to Matt Cain that saying 'TV isn't just TV anymore' is a bit odd. I mean, I get what he means, but I think it might be better expressed as 'TV isn't just broadcasting any more' and to that we can all heartily agree. And, while I'm here, all TV is digital in the UK, whether broadcast, streamed, downloaded or, indeed, viewed from a DVD. #pedantsrevolt”

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