GM Thought of the Week

YouTube’s Attempt to Gain BARB Accreditation 

There was an interesting piece in Campaign Live this week regarding YouTube’s attempt to gain BARB accreditation.

The request has, unsurprisingly, been rejected by BARB, which is currently funded by the BBC, ITV, C4, Sky and the IPA. This hinged around the fact that YouTube wanted to submit their own server data for use in BARB reporting. Whilst this might seem openly altruistic, BARB insist that all measurement data is independently verified before use. This is a move we are in agreement with – the provision of data has to be consistent so as not to undermine the other stations and platforms who are measured independently via BARB’s people meters for TV and embedded software meters on PCs and Tablets (now in 40% of panel homes) to measure streamed minutes on VOD platforms.

The fact that YouTube has taken this first step is something that we are in support of however. Cross-platform audience measurement is vital to the long term success of the advertising industry. However, this does raise interesting questions for our industry, particularly with the long awaited Project Dovetail now scheduled to be launched in March 2018. If and when this day comes, is it fair then to be comparing impacts on a high production drama on ITV watched at home in the lounge, with a homemade video on You Tube watched on a smart phone?

Lisa Kinsella, Associate Director

18th May 2017