The Broadcasters' Audience Research Board (Barb), which provides official viewing figures for UK television audiences, has extended its service to cover viewers on iPad and Android tablets.
The measurement solution has been developed by Kantar Media in consultation with Barb, with the body suggesting this is the first industry solution for the electronic monitoring of people's behaviour as they consume media on their tablet devices.
Justin Sampson, chief executive of Barb, explained: "The ability to track how our panel members watch television on their tablets is a great step forward and another staging post for the delivery of Project Dovetail [a hybrid measurement system that will deliver full cross-platform reporting].
“It is also the catalyst for us to build a new panel of homes that have broadband connections but no TV sets. Additionally, we now plan to accelerate deployment in our panel of the software meters that track viewing on laptop, desktop and tablet computers."
The first viewing session that Barb captured took place in mid-August when a panellist watched an episode of Guy Martin's Passion for Life on the 4oD app on an iPad, although representative data from this session is not yet available.
Richard Asquith, global CEO for Kantar Media Audiences, said: "We are proud to continue working with Barb and the UK broadcasters to enhance the gold standard service. The new technology will deliver an understanding of how people's viewing on tablet devices sits alongside more established viewing behaviour. Clearly this is important in its own right, but it will also underpin the hybrid approach that we believe is the future of television audience measurement."
To begin with the measurement solution will be rolled out in panel homes that already have a software meter installed for tracking viewing on desktop and laptop computers.