UK audience research organisation BARB is to run a six-month field test to evaluate the benefits of a meter system to measure television content viewed on PCs.
The 75-home panel will help BARB, jointly owned by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five, BSkyB and the IPA (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising), to evaluate Kantar Media’s Virtual Meter. It is hoped the organisation will get some understanding of usage and data return.
Some homes asked to participate will have their PCs, including laptops monitored, while others will have both PC and TV viewing monitored.
BARB has investigated this technique for the past two years and believes it to be the most promising system for deployment on its network. It is expecting to be able to extend reporting to a wider range of devices for on-demand playback, such as games consoles, PCs, set-top boxes etc. where they are viewed through a TV set.
For the time being it is not expected that the monitoring of home computer viewing will fall into BARB’s core remit of providing audience figures to the principal terrestrial and multichannel broadcasters.