BARB's Snapshot of Brits at Leisure

14 December 2004

British TV audience measurement body BARB (Broadcasters' Audience Research Board) on Monday introduced its new Lifestyle Insights survey, claiming it provides a paradigm of Britons at work and play.

Among the areas covered by the survey are general interests and leisure activities; holidays and travel; cars; newspaper readership and radio listening; home and money; computers and the internet; and business expenditure.

The initiative will, says BARB, better allow marketers to identify potential target groups, target airtime, and increase understanding of viewer behaviour and motivations.

Nuggets upturned by the survey include ...

  • 11% of adults said they had spent over £100 on audio CDs and tapes within the past year. The most active age group were 25-34 year olds, 19% of whom spent at this level.

  • 43% of all adults said they had used email at home within the past month, and over half of 16-44 year olds had done so. Across all age groups, people were more likely to use email at home than at work. 25% of adults had used email at work within the same period, with 25-44 year-olds most likely to do so.

  • 16% of adults regularly arrive home from work before 5pm, while 9% get home after 7pm.

  • 6% of adults said they had used the web to buy a package holiday abroad in the past year. The 25-34 year old age group showed the most propensity to book online, with 11% of them having done so.

  • 9% of drivers have a car that is less than a year old, while 19% drive a car that is over ten years old.

  • Around a quarter of adults said they had used their home PC to shop online in the past month. 25-44 year olds were most likely to shop online (37% of this age group having done so in the past month) but among older adults the habit has yet to become widespread.

  • Almost half of 55-64 year olds and two-thirds of those over normal retirement age live in a home that is owned outright. By contrast only 9% of 35-44 year olds live in such a home; this age group are far more likely to live in a home that is mortgaged.

  • 4% of all adults said they had spent more than £100 on games console games in the past year, with 10% of 16-24 year olds spending more.
Says BARB research director Tony Wearn: "The findings of the Lifestyle Insights survey are of interest in their own right, but the real value is the ability to assess viewing figures against the additional panel classifications that are produced. This means that viewing analysis will be possible on groups of people with similar interests, media choices, or spending patterns."

Adds ceo Bjarne Thelin: "Advertisers, broadcasters, programme-makers, media planners and media buyers will be able to gain valuable information from Lifestyle Insights about the nature of the audiences that are being reached."

Data sourced from Broadcasters' Audience Research Board (UK); additional content by WARC staff