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Local TV 2.0 is here in digital form as BARB is not fit for purpose

Barb is not fit for purpose

Hyper-Local News is about to change and it is 100% Digital

Local TV Group launches a unique alternative to local news for counties, towns and cities across the UK…

A London based company owned by View TV Group is planning full 360 coverage of local media, providing every town and city with editorial news, a digital newspaper, a local radio station and a local TV station available on all digital and mobile devices, for each area.

More than 25% of the content will be hyperlocal and it will be supported with television greats from such channels as the BBC and Channel 4, promising to bring back a more efficient, localised national television service.

This new service will overcome many current outdated obstacles and provide a sustainable profitable revenue model.

Local TV is not a new concept, the UKs communication regulator OFCOM has, for the last 7 years, licensed local TV companies to produce content.

These companies were provided with free transmissions to broadcast in their local areas on Channel 7 via the Freeview Network with some also appearing on Virgin Media and Sky TV.

Every town in the UK, some 1,000 could have their own local tv channel

During this time a number of larger groups acquired these local companies to create wider brands such as That’s TV, Local TV Limited (formally made tv) and London Live, with only one of these larger groups being profitable since the take-over.

Much of this lack of growth can be put down to the way audiences are currently measured using BARB (Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board) ratings.

The way the current BARB system works is that just 5,000 homes are monitored across the UK to track what is being watched on TV, this is extrapolated to provide an estimate of how many people are watching a particular channel – for the entire country!

Due to the nation watching many more channels than when BARB launched in 1981, it poses the very relevant and important question ‘is BARB still fit for purpose?’

The current measure of 5,000 homes is so small and as a result ‘niche’ stations and their audiences are being missed because if no-one in the 5,000 homes has watched the niche channel it won’t even be counted. But many thousands of people who are not monitored by BARB, do watch it but are not counted. These niche and local stations are registering as having ‘0 views’ on BARB and the stations consequently receive little or no money from the adverts they play.

Director of the founding subsidiary at View TV Group, Jamie Branson, said: “I think it is about time that people realised that BARB is not fit for purpose in the present world and are not providing a roadmap to get a more accurate measurement method. BARB are not motivated to change as the 10 largest broadcasters, who are stakeholders and beneficiaries in BARB, benefit from the tiny audience sample size by receiving the unregistrable revenues from the smallest broadcasters.”

After consulting with various local broadcasters, View TV Group have created a platform that resolves the issues that BARB and OFCOM are failing to accept and resolve, by going ‘Over The Top’ (OTT) of traditional services to provide a regulated and efficient alternative.

This alternative will provide audience figures exponentially more accurate than BARB and will cost 10 times less than traditional broadcast methods, to enable making profit a reality from day 1 of broadcasting.

OTT services deliver TV and media through public internet rather than a private network and allows the Local TV Group to deliver bespoke advertising and content to each user – uniquely.

OTT measures viewing figures accurately as every user request is registered centrally, which produces live viewing statistics.

Local TV Group plans on broadcasting at county level, each with a reach of more than 1 million people and with a plan to break this down further to large towns and cities.

Each area will be able to sell advertising across 3 media outlets – editorial, radio and on TV, which will include video on demand and a catch-up service.

What makes the Local TV Groups plans truly unique, is that it can sell ads to local businesses that are able to be placed within the ad breaks of other channels being watched in the local area. 

other local tv channels will not be able to compete with the revenues of digital

This means that local areas have a more sustainable advertising inventory to sell and do not have to wait for their channel to gain an audience before they see revenue.

Local adverts appearing across radio, editorial and in the commercial breaks of huge national shows is an exciting prospect – yes, you could see your local Chinese Takeaway appearing in the ad break for your favourite Soap!

Using the latest OTT software and an ebay style auction solution, Local TV Group allows advert breaks in TV, radio and video to be replaced with highest value ads automatically. The ads are higher than normal value as they are targeted. If you are watching the same programme as your neighbour, you will each see different ads because they have targeted your device, location and time of day.

television is not dead it just needs to embrace the new technology and stop holding on to the past

Local TV Group is offering the service to towns and cities and can be taken up by anyone who feels that they could run a small media business. It will run on a simple revenue share solution without any capital spend via a license agreement.

Not only will Local TV Group provide accurate audience figures, but all of its content will be available in 1080 HD or 4k quality, unlike the traditional SD signals on freeview and sky, which has 4 times less definition.

The service will have national content to provide credibility and reduce the pressure on producing hours of content locally.

100% of all unsold local advertising spots within advertising breaks will be filled with paying national advertisements. As an example of the business opportunity the service will provide, if there was a regular 20,000 people watching for an hour a day, this would provide the channel with more than £100,000 per month in ad revenue alone with many other different revenue streams available.

All details will be handled by View TV Group at their headquarters near London and the service will be available via mobile, tablet and smart TV device apps in February 2020.

View TV Group is looking to recruit counties, cities and towns – now, email for more details.

Written by Editor

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