Barb invites tenders for new audience measurement service

Barb invites tenders for new audience measurement service

Barb has issued an invitation to tender for the next iteration of its audience measurement service, Barb Panel Plus.

The new service will replace Dovetail Fusion, Barb’s current audience measurement service. Launched in 2018, Dovetail Fusion delivers viewing figures for broadcasters’ VOD services. Currently, it combines panel data with census data from broadcaster VOD (BVOD) players.

With Barb Panel Plus, Barb is seeking to embrace return path data, such as connected TV and set-top boxes, as well as first-party server data.

“There are more data sources available than ever before, both from media owners and third parties,” said Caroline Baxter, Barb’s chief operating officer. “Datasets drawn from large samples of millions of devices are now seen as invaluable.”

By adding census or server datasets to the Barb panel, she explained, the larger sample will result in more accurate measurement of audience volumes.

“Conversely, census or server datasets typically don’t include the important detail about demographics, co-viewing and cross-platform duplication which the panel does,” Baxter continued. “Our subscribers increasingly want fusion across all these data sources.”

In particular, Barb is looking for proposals that support its efforts to calibrate volumes of viewing using the more accurate figures from census data while also preserving demographic, co-viewing and cross-platform duplication information.

Those looking to submit a tender need to inform Barb by 9 May. The deadline for proposal submissions is 30 August.

Evolving CFlight

Separately on Tuesday, Barb hosted a briefing call on how it intends to take CFlight forward now that it has expanded its reporting to traded audiences after taking over governance of the joint initiative at the beginning of this year. CFlight offers comprehensive campaign data at a total level as well as individual contributions from linear TV and BVOD.

Justin Sampson, Barb’s CEO, said: “In this world of data abundance, our industry is increasingly asking which data can be trusted to support judgements that are integral to decisions about which media to invest in, how much to invest and how effective a campaign has been.”

He added: “Suffice to say, a trusted measure of how many people saw a campaign and how often is vital.”

CFlight expands reporting to traded audiences

Efforts to improve CFlight are seen as “really exciting”, according to Jack Perlman, executive business director at OMD UK.

A core concern for agencies, according to Perlman, is thinking about how linear TV and BVOD sit together on a plan that also includes emerging ad-supported streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+.

“The likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ — what are they adding to the campaign?” Perlman asked rhetorically. “They’re growing and growing, so more and more it’s going to be important to us to understand what’s going to be the incremental reach of each of those, how does the frequency distribute between each of those, so we can better inform our future planning as it becomes a bigger part of our investment.”

ITV director of client strategy and planning Kate Waters added that, as Barb’s database widens, the possibilities for industry-wide research also grow.

She pointed to a recent meta analysis completed of numerous TV campaigns using Barb audience data that found among 16-34s, for every 1% of additional VOD impacts placed within a campaign, “that will deliver about 0.15 percentage points of incremental reach”. A similar linear relationship was found to be true for ABC1s (for every 1% of additional VOD impacts, incremental reach increases by 0.13 percentage points).

Waters concluded: “It proves what we’ve always thought, which is VOD can be a very powerful driver of incremental reach in those campaigns where that is what advertisers are looking to achieve.”

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Netflix and Disney lean in

During the presentation, Sampson also addressed the importance of Barb’s work with subscription VOD (SVOD) services. He cited recent figures that found Brits spend over 40 minutes per day watching SVOD and it is “dominated by the big three”.

Sampson noted: “Collectively, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and Netflix account for 95% of viewing within the SVOD category and each of these three services now offers viewers the option to watch their favourite programmes with or without advertising.”

Deborah Armstrong, Disney’s senior vice-president, country manager for UK and Ireland and general manager for media networks and advertising EMEA, and Netflix’s EMEA director of ads measurement strategy, Andy Pang, both shared their support for robust audience measurement through Barb.

Armstrong said: “The market follows measurement and reporting, so working with top measurement partners is a priority for us.” She added that Disney also supports Barb’s measurement standard on fit-for-TV content.

Pang, meanwhile, noted that a “key part of our measurement approach is transparency” so the company wants advertisers to be able to make comparisons between Netflix and other services.

Netflix’s ad tier has seen its membership grow 70% quarter on quarter in the last two quarters, according to Pang, accounting for 40% of all new sign-ups globally. He added: “We’ll continue to listen to what our advertisers want.”

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