Established in 1992, the Kantar Group employs around 30,000 people around the world. They specialise in market research and customer behaviours. Nowhere in there multitude of websites and jargon filled literature is there any mention, whatsoever, of TV audience measurement activities or, more importantly, expertise. Much like BARB they describe themselves as ‘the best in the world’ when the reality is that they are probably just the biggest in the world. I wouldn’t mind betting that there are 10’s of thousands of tiny companies that do similar market research and, because they are tiny, probably do it better.
We’re not even sure where Kantar fit into the story. We know that they are the ones who produce the figures on behalf of BARB, but we’re not really sure why. The massive majority of commercial TV stations are interested only in one number …. the number of people tuned into the shows on their channels – end of. At this level, the statistics produced by Kantar; Age Group, Sex, Income Bracket, Occupation, Number of Limbs, Hairy legs bla bla bla, is of absolutely zero interest. The Only information we want is how many viewers tuned in (as accurately as possible) and is that enough to bring in sufficient revenue. The deeper analysis of audience type is for the channels themselves to undertake, the marketing departments of the advertisers, the ad agencies.
We are told that a ‘BARB home’ represents 5000 people. Why only a BARB home? I’ve been around a very long time, in my business I know 1000’s of people, but I don’t know a single person that has ever been asked to be a BARB home, not one. Nor do any of our colleagues and clients. Now doesn’t that seem very odd? If we apply their same simple math to our own research then we can say that we have some shows that have 50,000 viewers when BARB/Kantar say we have none. It’s a nonsense, it’s broken and it’s causing businesses to close up with the loss of jobs. It must be stopped!