Sky’s programming boss Zai Bennett says the broadcaster is to move away from relying only on BARB’s official viewing figures and will in future report a single consolidated figure for views across broadcast, catch up and as on demand boxsets.
In a post on Sky’s corporate blog, Bennett says “at the moment, many of these views aren’t being reported. The way that the industry talks about TV viewing isn’t reflective of the ways that people are watching today.”
While the broadcaster is supportive of Barb’s Project Dovetail, Bennett says there “gaps” remain in the overnight and seven day consolidated audience that the TV industry uses, meaning broadcasters are “under-selling ourselves.”
In future he says Sky will focus on Barb’s seven day cumulative audience which “captures viewing to all linear broadcasts, including repeats, as well as most catch up and on demand viewing through a TV set, including those watching with NOW TV.”
In addition, he says: “For shows like Tin Star which we release as a boxset, we’ll also report on its ‘total programme consumption’ once the series concludes, which will give a more complete viewing picture of the series.
“We’ll calculate this using BARB’s cumulative audience figures, alongside our own internal data that BARB isn’t able to capture, such as any on demand viewing of a show before it’s had a linear transmission.
“Tin Star has only just been released, so these figures are still being collated. But we already know that more than half a million people have binge-watched the entire 10 episodes on demand through their set top boxes.
“And the majority of this viewing won’t be captured by BARB at all. There have also been more than 1.4 million views of the series through Sky Go and NOW TV.”
Bennett ends his piece by calling on “other broadcasters to also use a more transparent viewing picture, so we all have a more accurate sense of the shows that have really captured the public’s imagination.”