Insights Ofcom consults on changes to its Public Service Broadcasting Tracker survey


Ofcom’s PSB Tracker was designed, among other things, to measure public opinion on how well the BBC’s channels, and the main channels of ITV, STV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and S4C, meet each of the relevant PSB purposes and characteristics.

In 2020, Ofcom suspended the PSB tracking survey due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. It said, at that time, that it intended to re-design and recommission a new audience tracking survey for 2021. Ofcom has now set out its plans for a new “Public Service Media” (PSM) Tracker, to begin in Spring 2021. To improve the structure and content of the survey Ofcom is proposing, amongst other things, to:

  • extend the range of people surveyed to include low, lapsed and non-PSM users;
  • include a new section on how well people consider other major content providers (for example Sky, Amazon Video, Netflix, YouTube) offer PSB-like content;
  • update the wording of certain questions and offer additional background or descriptive context to improve participants’ understanding; and
  • change the fieldwork methodology (if required) to accommodate Covid-19 restrictions and ensure the safety of everyone involved.

Ofcom is now inviting comments on these proposals by 12pm on 27 January 2021. For further information, click here.