BARB signs historic deal with Netflix, becoming first industry body in the world to measure its viewing figures

BARB – the Broadcasters Audience Research Board, which is the UK body responsible for measuring viewing figures – has signed a historic agreement with Netflix, welcoming the streaming platform into its trusted measurement system. With the deal, the organisation becomes the first industry-owned currency in the world that Netflix has joined, through which it’s viewing figures can be measured directly alongside those of traditional broadcasters. 

The move was made possible by the evolution of the BARB platform in 2021, in what it calls ‘a once in a generation upgrade of its daily audience reporting’. The major innovation, facilitated by technology developed by Kantar, allows the organisation to comprehensively track aggregate-level viewing across traditional, on-demand, subscription-based, and video sharing platforms. 

“Our audience measurement continuously adapts to accommodate the new platforms and devices that are being used by people to watch their favourite television shows,” said Justin Sampson, Chief Executive for BARB.

“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’re doing is valuable to new and established players in the market.”

Reed Hastings, Co-CEO of Netflix, added: “Back in 2019, at the RTS conference in Cambridge, I welcomed the idea of Netflix audiences being measured independently. We’ve 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.”

Image courtesy of: Locke Photography

Instant hits

In a press release announcing the agreement, BARB said that 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.

Across 2022, 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. You can read the release in full on the BARB website here

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