12 OCT 2022

Netflix signs up to be measured by BARB in the UK

Netflix has signed up to the British TV ratings agency BARB, which means its audiences will be measured by an external, independent body for the first time.

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Netflix has signed up to the British TV ratings agency BARB, which means its audiences will be measured by an external, independent body for the first time, as the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board is the first industry-owned audience currency in the world that the US streamer has joined.

This news comes less than a year after BARB introduced an upgrade of its daily audience reporting. Since November 2021, streaming services have been an integral part of its gold-standard reporting of what people watch across linear and on-demand services. Its daily reporting includes aggregate-level viewing to SVOD/AVOD and video-sharing platforms, as well as content ratings for shows on the leading SVOD services.

This major innovation, underpinned by technology developed by Kantar, reinforces BARB’s longstanding commitment to track the latest developments in how media companies are distributing television shows across different platforms and devices. The new independent data have also clarified the competition for viewers.

According to BARB, while Netflix and other streaming services have clearly established themselves within the television-viewing ecosystem, broadcasters continue to account for the lion’s share of viewing in the UK. In fact, across this year, broadcasters’ linear channels and on-demand services have accounted for around two-thirds of all identified viewing, while SVOD/AVOD services comprise about one-sixth of all viewing. The average daily viewing time to broadcasters’ services was 159 minutes in September 2022, and the average for SVOD/AVOD services was 36 minutes per day.

From the second week of November 2022, BARB will publicly report the monthly reach and share of viewing for broadcaster groups and SVOD/AVOD services which account for more than 0.5% of total identified viewing. The accompanying table previews the viewing summary that will be published on the website each month. Also from November, BARB will extend its weekly reporting of the top 50 shows to include shows across all linear channels and SVOD service providers. This will reinforce BARB’s rankings as the most comprehensive and representative record of the most-watched shows in the UK.

“Back in 2019, at the RTS conference in Cambridge, I welcomed the idea of Netflix audiences being measured independently. We have kept in touch with BARB since then and are pleased to make a commitment to its trusted measurement of how people watch television in the UK,”  commented Reed Hastings, Co-CEO of Netflix.

Justin Sampson, Chief Executive of BARB, added: “Our audience measurement continuously adapts to accommodate the new platforms and devices that are being used by people to watch their favorite television shows. We took a big step forward last year when we started reporting audiences to streaming services. Netflix’s commitment to BARB sends a clear signal that what we are doing is valuable to new and established players in the market.”

For viewing from November 1, BARB will report Netflix viewing every day at both a service and a programme level to its clients. This will be in the same way it reports viewing for over 300 other subscribing broadcast channels, broadcast video-on-demand (BVOD) and advertising/subscription video-on-demand (AVOD/SVOD) services. Netflix viewing data will be available to all BARB clients on the morning of November 2 through existing viewing analysis software and data-processing bureaux.

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