The current beta stage of Project Dovetail has been running since 2015 and has been able to deliver data on the number of tablet, PC and smartphone devices being used to watch programmes, both on demand and live streaming.
Software meters are installed on tablets and PC belonging to members of BARB’s nationally representative panel of UK homes. BARB says a panel approach is critical as it delivers a single source of observations on how people watch on different devices.
Streaming data is also collected from viewing apps by BARB contractor Kantar Media.
Although the hours spent sat in front of the TV screen remain stable over the long term, there are increasing audiences for both the broadcasters catch-up services and on demand platforms including Amazon Video and Netflix.
BARB has also been asked to look at the measurement of short form video content such as YouTube but, following a consultation, cautions that advertisers need any survey to follow established TV conventions for duration, viewability and verification.
It says the next priority for Project Dovetail will be to deliver an equivalent measure for viewing online TV commercials. This will enable the industry to assess the total reach and frequency of advertising campaigns across multiple screens.