U.K. TV Ratings Firm to Track Tablet Viewership

ArtAsiaPacific

BARB estimates that 2 percent of all U.K. TV viewing is done on computer devices

The U.K. TV audience body has announced that it will begin measuring viewing on tablets.

BARB — the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board — revealed it now had the ability to electronically monitor viewing habits on iPads and Android devices, having made the first "capture" of data last month. It said that the new statistics would be published as they become available over the coming months.

The organization, which is funded by the country's four terrestrial channel providers plus BSkyB, collates viewing figures through a number of private homes aimed at reflecting TV habits across the U.K.

"The ability to track how our panel members watch television on their tablets is a great step forward," said BARB CEO Justin Sampson in a statement, adding that it was a catalyst to setting up dedicated surveys for those who have broadband but don't own a TV set.

The first viewing session captured by BARB was an episode of Channel 4's Guy Martin's Passion for Life on its 4oD app on an iPad. The BBC, ITV and Channel 5 also have apps. On Thursday, Channel 4 announced that it would be launching a single online destination for all its content, whether live, streaming or on-demand.

According to BARB, current industry-accepted estimates are that up to 2 percent of all TV viewing time is done on computer devices.

Last year, it was revealed that Nielsen would be rolling out a system to measure broadband, Xbox and eventually iPads in the U.S., although nothing has been formally announced yet.

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