Report – If we can’t Measure it, how can we Manage it?

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 3:54pm by Cate Zerega


  •     Kids don’t see their viewing as fragmented because they are adept at navigating to get to the programming they want.
  •     Visual appeal, ease and the impact of voice as interface are all important factors in the future of children’s programming.
  •     Qualitative data is immeasurably important to capture the child’s television experience.


How do you capture children’s cross-platform viewing habits? Moderator Matthew Macaulay of MTM began by asking the panelists what the current data tells. Turner Broadcasting’s John Conlon says a more tablet-like experience provides a gateway to other services and devices. He said investment in good interfaces is important. Emily Keaney of Ofcom challenged the tendency to talk about TV as being replaced by YouTube & Netflix, saying this is too simplistic. She has seen the role television plays in family viewing increasing over time.  YouTube comes out on top every time in terms of memorability and top of mind resonance for children. BARB’s Doug Whelpdale provided a “light’s out, tablets on” micro viewing pattern in children’s tablets – after a sharp fall in use at 8pm, viewership picks back up again at 10pm. Dan Matthews of Team Orchestra spoke of his experience with Disney. They have seen a decline in TV viewership so they increased the spend on poster and radio advertising for Incredibles 2.

The challenges of measurement featured in the conversation. Doug Whelpdale explained BARB’s Project Dovetail which is designed to gather data across screens and will launch in September 2018. It is able to synthesize data across three screens as well as data collected from broadcaster VOD platforms. However, cooperation with Netflix, Amazon and YouTube has not been forthcoming and without cooperation the data gap cannot be closed. They are currently testing the placement of a meter on a home router and this will be able to capture that data. Disney has been using data from US import Samba TV which can capture Netflix data and Sky. Sky boasts a robust number of set top boxes: 500,000 to BARB’s 5,000.  Though the box number is robust, it is not as representative of the whole UK population. Germany has been leading the way in merging measurement for internet programming and broadcast programming.  The discrepancy they are navigating is the massive scope sought by internet programming providers, who seek thousands of channels to be captured. German broadcasters would like to cap the measurement at fifty.

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Cate Zerega

About the author

Cate Zerega

University of Nottingham, Student

Cate hails from Chicago - so she likes her theatre fringe and her pizza deep. Her MA thesis analyses male anxiety in post war Hollywood film for the Institute for Screen Research at the University of Nottingham. Cate has worked in casting, as a talent agent and as a nanny;… Read more