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Barb Glossary

Barb Glossary

Posted on: July 1, 2020

BARB viewing data is available for a range of audience data, including overnights, dayparts, programme and commercial information, time lengths, reach and channel share of viewing. Data can be accessed as live, VOSDAL or consolidated data. Here you can find a glossary of these terms plus many more that help in the measurement of TV audiences and are key currencies for television broadcasters and the advertising industry.

AdultsIndividuals aged 16 or over are classified as Adults within the BARB service.
AreasBARB divides the UK into ITV reception areas and BBC editorial regions. Audiences are currently reported for 13 ITV areas and 14 BBC regions (see also Macro Region).
Audience CategoryAn audience category is a classification of the viewing audience into a specific group. The following audiences are sometimes referred to as main categories - Homes, Individuals, Adults, Men, Women, Children and Houseperson. Sub-categories are more detailed breakdowns of the main categories - by age groups, social grades etc.
Audience Profile (Audience Composition)The audience profile shows how a main audience category is divided into its subcategories (such as age, social grade or sex) in percentage terms. For example, if a programme achieves an Adult AB profile of 10%, this means that 10% of adult viewers were AB, while the other 90% were C1, C2 or DE Adults. An audience profile can be compared with the equivalent population profile to produce an index.
Audience ShareSee Share.
Audience: Break AudienceA commercial break audience is defined as the duration weighted average of all the commercial spot audiences in the break.
Audience: Commercial Spot AudienceThe commercial spot audience is defined as the audience for the minute in which the commercial starts.
Audience: Programme AudienceA programme audience is the average of all the minute audiences covered by the programme transmission, excluding any commercial breaks and promotions.
Audience: Time Segment (Daypart) AudienceA time segment (e.g. quarter hour) or daypart audience is the average of the one minute audiences in that time segment/daypart.
BARB Gold StandardAny audience measure that has been generated by applying the BARB defined calculation methodology and procedures to BARB audience data.
CableTelevision services which are transmitted over wires rather than over the airwaves.
CAPIComputer Assisted Personal Interview. A face-to-face interview where the questionnaire is administered by the interviewer using a laptop computer, which presents each question on the screen and interviewers directly record respondents’ replies. The BARB Establishment Survey is carried out by the CAPI method.
Chief Income EarnerThe member of the household with the greatest total income.
ChildrenBARB reports viewing for Children aged 4-15.
Commercial Audience FactoringFor special cases where TV companies transmit commercials on a ‘sub-area’ basis (e.g. North Scotland/Central Scotland), commercial audiences are calculated by applying a factor to the total area audience. The factor is based on the relative homes universe for each sub-area.
Consolidated AudienceThe consolidated audience is the sum of the live and timeshift audiences.
Coverage/CoverSee Reach.
CPTCost-Per-Thousand. The cost of one thousand commercial impacts for a target audience. Cost-Per-Thousand (CPT) is used when purchasing and measuring the efficiency of advertising campaigns.
Database 1Database 1 contains the ‘raw’ viewing statements for each home and individual in the BARB reporting panel for each day, together with all the classification details for each home and individual, needed for panel control and reporting purposes.
Database 2Database 2 contains pre-processed time-based audiences (based on 1, 5, and 15 minute intervals) as well as audiences for programme transmissions, commercial spots and commercial breaks.
DaypartA daypart is a section of the viewing day, for example breakfast (0600-0924) or peak time (for which there are various definitions).
DCabDigital Cable.
DSatDigital satellite. 
DTTDigital terrestrial television. 
Encrypted channelsA viewing card is required to enable viewing to these channels. 
EPGElectronic programme guide. Channel and programme listing service available on digital TV. 
Establishment SurveySurvey undertaken to determine the ownership of television equipment and demographic characteristics of the population. Results are used to determine the panel controls against which the panel is maintained. BARB Establishment Survey respondents also provide the pool of households from which BARB panel homes are recruited.
First Day SamplePanel members reporting on the first day of a given time period (e.g. a schedule of commercial spots). A first day sample is a commonly used sample base for reach and frequency analysis (see also Middle Day Sample).
Free-to-air channelsNo subscription fee is payable in order to view the channel. The majority of the channels on the digital terrestrial platform are free-to-air channels. 
Frequency (Average Frequency)The (average) number of times a commercial is seen by those within the target audience who see it at all. Average frequency is sometimes referred to as average OTS (see OTS).
GRPGross Rating Point. Often used as a measure of the overall weight of an advertising campaign. One rating point is numerically equivalent to one per cent of the target audience (see also TVR).
Guest ViewingViewing by non panel members within panel homes. Guests are asked to provide details of their sex and age group via the peoplemeter handset. Regular guests may be allocated their own button on the handset, though their viewing will continue to be treated as guest viewing.
Handset (BARB)A device similar to a remote control which panel members use to register and deregister their presence in a room where a television set is on.
Head of HouseholdThe Head of Household is the household member who either owns the property, is responsible for paying the rent, has use of the home as a result of his/her job, or is related to the owner or main tenant (where the owner or main tenant is not a regular member of the household).
Hours/Minutes of ViewingThe amount of television watched by a particular audience category. This is usually expressed as an average over a given time period.
Household SizeThe number of individuals who regularly live in the household.
HousepersonThe member of the household who is solely or mainly responsible for the household duties. A houseperson may be male or female. There is only one houseperson per household.
Houseperson with ChildrenHouseperson living in a household in which a child (or children) aged 0-15 also lives.
ImpactsA measure of viewing to commercial spots. One impact is one member of the target audience viewing one commercial. Impacts are added together to give, e.g. the total impacts delivered by a particular spot, the gross total achieved by a particular advertising campaign or the total supplied by a given channel. A total of 10 impacts could be achieved in a number of ways: by ten people viewing a single commercial; by one person seeing the commercial ten times; by five people seeing the commercial twice and so on.
IndividualsBARB reports audiences for Individuals aged 4+.
Lifestyle InsightsAll panel members aged 16+ complete a questionnaire which asks, for example, about their leisure activities, holidays, spending habits and also includes some attitudinal statements. This data is analysed in conjunction with dataset1 to allow groups of TV viewers to be analysed according to their interests.
Live AudienceThe audience to a minute, commercial, daypart or programme at the time of its transmission.
Macro RegionArea created by the aggregation of one or more ITV areas. A detailed breakdown of BARB-reported macro regions is provided in the BARB Reference Manual.
Middle Day SamplePanel members reporting on the middle day of a given time period (e.g. a schedule of commercial spots) often used as a sample base for reach and frequency analysis (see also First Day Sample).
Minute AttributionThe clock minute is the basic reporting unit within the BARB system. An Individual is deemed to be a viewer for a particular clock minute if present in the room with the TV on for at least 31 seconds of that clock minute. A particular minute is attributed to the channel to which the set was tuned longest within that minute.
Multi-Channel HomeA home able to receive cable, satellite or digital terrestrial transmissions.
Multi-Set HomeA home possessing more than one television in working order (see Television Home).
NBDNegative Binomial Distribution. A probability model used in the calculation of reach and frequency for commercial spot schedules.
NetworkWhen used in a BARB context, Network is usually equivalent to all areas of the UK (i.e. a Network programme is one shown in all areas of the UK).
Nil ViewerA panel home (or individual panel member) which does not view any television across a given time period is known as a nil viewer.
OTSOpportunity To See ads in a campaign. Total (target audience) OTS of a television campaign is equivalent to the total number of (target audience) impacts delivered by that campaign. Average OTS is equivalent to average frequency (see Frequency).
Out-Of-Home ViewingBARB measures TV viewing within private domestic households. The only type of out-of-home viewing captured is guest viewing (see Guest Viewing).
OvernightsThe previous day’s viewing is released to the industry at 9.30am the next day (see VOSDAL).
PanelSample of people used for regular research. The BARB panel consists of 5,100 homes, circa 11,300 individuals aged 4+ whose television viewing is measured and reported every single day.
Panel 50The full network panel.
Panel 72Homes with digital satellite and/or cable.
Pay TVTV service that requires a viewer to pay a one off or regular subscription fee in order to view. 
Pay-per-viewPay TV service allowing users to pay for each programme they watch rather than via a monthly fee. For example, box office films may be watched via pay-per-view. 
People MeterGeneric name for the electronic measurement system which monitors the channel that a TV set is tuned to and the individuals present in the room while the TV set is switched on.
PersistenceThe length of time that a TV needs to be in a particular status (e.g. tuned to a particular channel) before this status is recorded by the meter. This is currently set to 15 seconds.
Personal MetersMeters which are carried by an individual.
PlatformA term encompassing the various ways in which a home can receive television. The six platforms currently reported are: analogue terrestrial; analogue satellite; analogue cable; digital terrestrial; digital satellite; digital cable.
PlaybackViewing of broadcast material that has been recorded (see also Timeshift Audience).
PollingThe daily process whereby viewing data is collected by telephone from each panel home.
PopulationThe number of people in the ‘universe’ or ‘target group’.
Preference to ViewWithin a household able to receive more than one ITV1 regional station, preference to view is the extent to which one station is viewed rather than another. It is measured in the Establishment Survey interview as number of hours (out of ten) for which the household watches each station.
Programme GenreA classification of programmes into particular types (e.g. drama, sport, documentary).
PVR (DTR)Personal Video Recorder. Digital recorder, e.g. Sky +, V+ and others, that allows a viewer to record programmes from an EPG and pause live TV for later viewing.
Random Probability SampleSample designed to strict procedures to ensure that each member of the target audience has a known chance of being selected for interview. BARB Establishment Survey interviewees are selected via random probability sampling.
RatingSee TVR.
ReachThe net number or percentage of people who have seen a particular piece of broadcast output (e.g. a programme, daypart, channel, TV advertising campaign). Programme or daypart reach assesses what percentage of the population saw a specified amount of a programme or daypart. It is also used cumulatively to assess the total net percentage that saw a specified amount of a complete series/month of television etc. There are various ways of defining the amount of viewing an individual must have done in order to be counted as having been "reached". The BARB definition is for this to be at least three consecutive minutes. For TV advertising campaigns, reach (the net percentage of the target audience to have at least one opportunity to see the campaign) is often used in conjunction with frequency (the average number of times the campaign was seen by those within the target audience who were reached) to produce an overall measure of campaign exposure.
Reduced Screen ViewingViewing which takes place where the main broadcast channel is shown in reduced size within a screen that has other content.
RegionsSee Areas.
Sample SizeThe number of individuals in a sample group.
Share (Share of Viewing)The percentage of the total viewing audience watching over a given period of time. This can apply to channels, programmes, time periods etc. For example, a share of 58% for Coronation Street would mean that, of all the viewers watching television when Coronation Street was being transmitted, 58% were watching Coronation Street.
SI CodeService Information Code. A code broadcast by a channel that uniquely identifies that channel. SI codes are used by the BARB meter to monitor the channel being viewed on the digital satellite platform.
SimulcastThe simultaneous broadcasting of the same programme on different TV channels. Simulcast can also refer to the same channel being broadcast on different platforms. 
Social GradeA classification of household social status based on the occupation of the chief income earner. BARB reports the following social grades: AB - higher (A) or intermediate (B) managerial, administrative or professional C1 - supervisory or clerical and junior managerial, administrative or professional C2 - skilled manual workers D - semi-skilled and unskilled workers E - state pensioners, casual or lowest grade workers
SpotAn individual occurrence of a commercial.
StaggercastBroadcast of channel output on a secondary channel at a fixed time after the original broadcast. The most commonly used time lag is one hour, and such secondary channels are often labelled "+1".
Sub-Group FactoringA technique used to calculate audiences for reporting sub-categories in the four smallest ITV area panels (North East, Border, West, South West). Details of the calculation are provided in the BARB Reference Manual (see also Audience Category).
SVODSubscription video on demand. Subscribers have access to specific programming for a regularly charged fee. 
Television HomeA household which has at least one television in working order (or if not, for which arrangements have been made for repair within seven days) is classed as a TV home.
Thirty Hour ClockFor reporting purposes within Database 2 the BARB broadcast day runs for 24 hours from 6am. Times beyond 24:59 are reported using a thirty hour clock. For example 01:00 is shown as 25:00, 05:59 is shown as 29:59 etc.
Thirty Second Equivalent ImpactsSee Weighted Impacts.
Timeshift AudienceThe playback audience to a video or PVR/DVDR recording of a minute, commercial, daypart or programme. The recording must be played back within 7 days of the original transmission to be counted by BARB and included in the BARB gold standard calculations. Since July 2013 BARB has made available timeshifted viewing up to 28 days after the original transmission. It can be added to the live data. This viewing is not included in the BARB gold standard calculations. 
Transmission HoursThe length of time that a channel broadcasts in any given day.
Transmission LogA detailed description of the events (programmes, commercials etc) broadcast each day by a particular channel. The logs are combined with minute-by-minute BARB audience data so that audiences can be reported for particular programmes, commercial breaks or individual commercial spots.
TVRThe TVR (Television Rating) is the measure of the popularity of a programme, daypart, commercial break or advertisement by comparing its audience to the population as a whole. One TVR is numerically equivalent to one per cent of a target audience. For example, if Coronation Street achieved a Houseperson TVR of 20 in Yorkshire this means that, on average during the programme, 20% of all Houseperson in the Yorkshire region watched Coronation Street. Commercial campaigns are frequently assessed by adding the TVRs of their individual spots to produce a Gross Rating Point total (see also GRP).
Uncovered Set ViewingThe situation where a television set is switched on but no-one is present in the room is known as uncovered set viewing.
UniverseThe total population of a particular audience category. BARB universes are based on television homes. For example, the network universe for ABC1 Women is the total number of ABC1 Women living within television households in the UK.
VCRVideo Cassette Recorder.
Video-on-DemandA facility offered by digital television providers where households can access a movie or programme that can be watched at any time.
ViewingA panel member (or guest) is defined to be viewing when they are present in a room with a TV set switched on.
VOSDALViewing-On-Same-Day-As-Live. Time-shifted viewing that has been viewed on the same day as the original broadcast is included in the overnight file which is released at 9.30am the following day (see Overnights).
Weighted Impacts/MessagesImpacts may be weighted back to a "thirty second equivalent" according to the value of any commercial length relative to a 30 second spot. The relative values differ according to individual broadcasters and are published as commercial length rate factors.

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