New six year contract will address evolving needs of TV audience measurement
London, 18 December 2007– BARB (Broadcasters Audience Research Board) announced today that TNS, a world leader in market insight and information, has won two major contracts to measure UK TV audiences starting in 2010.
TNS will provide the BARB industry currency for TV audience measurement in the UK. Under the terms of the contracts, TNS will be responsible for the establishment and the operation of a 5,100 home meter panel. The panel will be recruited in 2008, allowing TNS to trial its service, starting in early 2009 in parallel with the current service. The current contract, running to 31 December 2009 is held by AGB Nielsen. The full switch-over to the new service will take place in January 2010.
TNS will provide BARB with a fixed TV-meter system using TNS’s successful TNS 5000 Series Modular PeopleMeter™. The 5000 Series is a proven audience measurement tool; TNS has provided 52,000 of this latest model of People Meter for use in 30,000 homes in 15 countries.
BARB’s Chief Executive, Bjarne Thelin, said: “BARB has considered numerous innovative proposals over a rigorous 15-month tendering process. Only a handful are sufficiently proven to be accepted by the industry at present. BARB is committing to a system (based around TNS’ fixed TV-meter system) which is state of the art, but with potential to be further developed to incorporate new techniques and keep pace with a rapidly changing industry.”
Meanwhile, TNS and BARB will together consider for potential future implementation TNS’s innovative TotalMeter™ solution as a single-source fixed and portable metering panel. The system integrates Arbitron’s Portable People Meter (PPM) system (licensed by TNS) with TNS’s existing fixed metering within the same panel homes. TotalMeter is designed to provide audience measurement for conventional TV viewing as well new platforms such as PCs, portable devices and out-of-home TV viewing. If BARB choose to progress with the new system, it could be phased into the initial measurement system, but only after completion of extensive testing and parallel tracking, and only following full industry consultation.
David Lowden, Chief Executive of TNS, said: “We welcome BARB’s decision to switch to TNS with enthusiasm and excitement. The return of the BARB contract to TNS is recognition both of our many years of experience in the media industry, and of our ability to address the future audience measurement needs of the world of TV. Media fragmentation calls for the ability to deliver a total picture of viewing habits, and TNS demonstrated to BARB that we have the expertise to do that in the next decade. TNS delivered a unique, fully integrated future-ready solution that demonstrated our understanding of the changing TV industry.”
Richard Marks, Global Director of Research at TNS Media Research, who headed the BARB pitch, said: “The digital revolution is presenting a continuing measurement challenge and the UK is one of the most technologically complex markets in the world. TNS will build on its existing proven technology for current TV viewing platforms whilst working in partnership with BARB to meet new requirements for newer PC-based, portable or out-of-home forms of TV viewing. TNS’s BARB solution meets the audience measurement needs of today and charts a stable path to tomorrow. I am delighted that the BARB Service is returning to TNS.”
John Gill, Global Client Support Director of TNS’s Media Research sector, said: “Over the past six years we have maintained our commitment to the UK broadcast industry with our successful BARB Bureau operation, the innovative SkyView panel, and the joint RAJAR BARB PPM panel. We are now delighted to be asked to renew our association with BARB’s key audience measurement service.”
The panel will be recruited by TNS’s extensive CAPI field force, which has a long established reputation for high quality sampling and interviewing. Jennie Beck, TNS Head of Media in the UK Custom division commented: “TNS’s UK media research team has built a strong reputation for high quality custom research and innovation in techniques and methodologies – gained through ground-breaking projects like BBC Daily Life, TouchPoints and Semiometrie. This has given us a deep understanding of the complex issues involved in producing robust and representative media use information in the digital age. The team is thrilled that the approach we proposed for BARB, to address these issues, has won their support, and we look forward to getting started.”
TNS is a global market insight and information group.
Our strategic goal is to be recognised as the global leader in delivering value-added information and insights that help our clients to make more effective decisions.
As industry thought leaders, our people deliver innovative thinking and excellent service to global organisations and local clients worldwide. We work in partnership with our clients, meeting their needs for high-quality information, analysis and foresight across our network of over 70 countries.
We are the world’s foremost provider of custom research and analysis, combining in-depth industry sector understanding with world-class expertise in the areas of Retail and Shopper Insights, Stakeholder Management, New Product Development, and Brand and Communications. We are a major supplier of consumer panel, media intelligence and internet, TV and radio audience measurement services.
About TNS Media Research
TNS Media Research provides internet, TV, and radio audience measurement worldwide. The expertise and technology of this international operation supports audience services in over 30 countries, including Canada, China, Russia, Spain, the UK and the US. TNS has provided 52,000 units of the “5000 Series” Modular PeopleMeter in 30,000 homes in 15 countries. TNS has also pioneered the use of the Arbitron PPM (Portable People Meter) around the world. It is also at the forefront of the latest technique on digital audience measurement, involving set-top box Return Path Data.
About the TNS 5000 Series People Meter™
TNS 5000 Series Modular PeopleMeter is a fixed television measurement device that is attached to fixed television sets in panel members’ homes. Panel members indicate their presence in the room using a remote control and viewing data is reported overnight to TNS using GPRS or fixed landline. It is a highly flexible system, able to adapt to future developments in television.
The PPM system, developed by Arbitron Inc. uses a device that is smaller than a mobile phone, and which respondents wear or carry throughout the day. The PPM works by detecting unique codes embedded in the audio portion of any transmission to which the respondent is exposed. The PPM system can track digital as well as analogue broadcasts, whether carried over the air, by cable, by satellite or on the Internet. TNS and Arbitron have been working together to promote PPM internationally since the start of the decade and 30,000 PPMs are currently in use around the world across eight commercial measurement services.
About the TNS TotalMeter™
TNS TotalMeter is an innovative approach to audience measurement, only available from TNS, that integrates the benefits of both fixed and portable measurement in the same panel homes. The system removes the need for a ‘handset’ traditionally used by panel members to register their presence in the room. TV set usage continues to be measured by a fixed meter attached to the set, but by carrying or wearing a PPM (Portable PeopleMeter) panel members’ viewing of other portable devices, or out-of-home TV, is also measured. Subject to satisfactory testing, the BARB Panel would be upgraded to the TNS TotalMeter system during the course of the measurement contract.
BARB was set up in 1981 to provide the industry-standard audience measurement service for television broadcasters and the advertising industry in the UK. It is a not-for-profit limited company whose members are the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, five, BSkyB and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.