BARB has awarded the contract to provide UK TV audience measurement currency to TNS. Beginning in 2010 after a year’s trial running in parallel with the current service, TNS will operate a 5,100 home meter panel.
Rumours that the contract was changing hands were reported in mid-November (www.mrweb.com/drno/news7589.htm
The current contract, running to 31 December 2009 is held by AGB Nielsen. The full switchover to the new service will take place in January 2010. The fixed TV-meter system will employ the well-established TNS 5000 Series Modular PeopleMeter™, 52,000 of which have already been provided for use in 30,000 homes in 15 countries.
BARB CEO Bjarne Thelin says the body considered ‘numerous innovative proposals over a rigorous 15-month tendering process’ and had selected ‘a system which is state of the art, but with potential to be further developed to incorporate new techniques and keep pace with a rapidly changing industry.’
BARB (Broadcasters Audience Research Board) and TNS will also discuss potential future implementation of the latter’s TotalMeter™ solution, which integrates Arbitron’s PPM system (licensed by TNS) and TNS’ existing fixed metering within the same panel homes. If used, this would only be phased into the initial measurement system after completion of extensive testing and parallel tracking, and only following full industry consultation.
TNS CEO David Lowden says the return of the contract is ‘recognition both of our many years of experience in the media industry, and of our ability to address the future audience measurement needs of the world of TV’.
Richard Marks, Global Director of Research at TNS Media Research, who headed the BARB pitch, said the speed of the digital revolution makes the UK ‘one of the most technologically complex markets in the world’ from a measurement perspective. ‘TNS will build on its existing proven technology for current TV viewing platforms whilst working in partnership with BARB to meet new requirements for newer PC-based, portable or out-of-home forms of TV viewing.’
BARB was set up in 1981 and is a not-for-profit limited company whose members are the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, five, BSkyB and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising. Web sites are at www.barb.co.uk