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UK’s BARB to track TV viewing online

The UK’s Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB) has taken the major decision to add IP-delivered television services to its audience tracking data by the end of this year, meaning that broadcasters and advertisers can track not only over-the-air viewing but also catch-up services such as the BBC iPlayer.

The BARB – which is jointly owned by the country’s major broadcasters plus the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising – has appointed media monitoring firm Kantar Media to collect census data for TV viewing through all connected devices, including computers and tablets.

The two companies will start to measure IP-delivered services from autumn 2013 thanks to a commitment by broadcasters to embed metadata tags into their programming, with a new TV Player Report to be launched by the end of this year.

Describing the news as “pivotal”, the BARB’s chief executive Justin Sampson said: “This is a significant step forward in our ambition to deliver cross-platform measurement of content. The next step is to invite research companies to tender for the task of integrating this data with the viewing figures that our users are already familiar with.”

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