The Broadcaster's Audience Research Board (Barb) is to produce the first-ever interactive audience measurement figures for Playjam, the interactive entertainment channel.
Playjam, which is owned by the digital production agency Static, will be the first interactive TV channel to be monitored, ahead of other interactive services such as Open or ONdigital.
Colin Cardwell, the marketing director at Static, said: 'After research through the Henley Centre it became evident that interactive television was going to struggle without some meaningful metrics.' In the final quarter of last year, Barb began measuring Playjam's audience and the first official data for the channel is expected by the end of March.
'There will now be an interactive channel which advertisers can compare with other channels,' Cardwell said.
Playjam launched in mid-November last year. In the UK, it is available on Sky Digital and Telewest. Over the next two weeks, ntl is expected to begin broadcasting the channel, and Static is also in negotiations with ONdigital. Playjam is an entertainment channel comprised mainly of interactive games, around 20 per cent of which are branded by sponsors and advertisers.
Cardwell said: 'Our whole approach is to support the advertising industry. TV is an entertainment medium. Advertising works when it is wrapped around good entertainment.'
Jasper Smith, the managing director at Static, said he was unsure whether any of the other interactive TV services would follow suit. 'Playjam is partially driven by interactive TV advertisers so it is relevant both to Barb and to the interactive industry to have this data. It's most appropriate for Playjam, but other services such as Open are less reliant on advertising.'