Introducing S4C

S4C's Insight

Research into Deaf/Hard of Hearing Audiences

S4C, in partnership with BBC Wales and Action on Hearing Loss Cymru, has commissioned a report from Swansea University on Deaf/Hard of Hearing Audiences in Wales. The project was funded by Action on Hearing Loss Cymru, BBC Cymru Wales, Bridging the Gaps Swansea University, Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, Swansea University's Research Institute for Arts and Humanities and S4C.

Here is the report: here


Media Literacy Research

S4C, in partnership with the office of the Children's Commissioner for Wales and Logicalis, has commissioned a report from Wisekids on media literacy in Wales among year 9 pupils.

Here is the report, released on the 1st of December: here


Research on the Language Use of Welsh Speakers

S4C, BBC Cymru Wales and the Welsh Government have jointly commissioned a research project by Beaufort Research to examine Welsh Speakers' use of language in different situations.

A copy of the research findings can be seen in pdf format by clicking here.

As with all broadcasters, research is important to S4C, to ascertain public opinion. Research is carried out under the following headings:

  • Audience Measurement
  • Audience Reaction
  • Programme and Project Research
  • Marketing Research
  • Subtitling Research

Audience measurement

S4C's audience is measured by BARB [Broadcasters' Audience Research Board], which also measures all TV audiences throughout Britain. In January 2010 a brand new television measurement system was launched, when new panel members were selected. The last time this happened was in 2002.

There are 500 homes in Wales on BARB's measurement panel, with 250 of these consisting of at least one Welsh speaker. Viewing patterns are measured by placing a meter in each of the homes, which automatically calculates which channel is being viewed, as well as who is viewing, by asking each family member to press a personalised button on a special handset when he or she is watching.

Each home on the panel is carefully selected by BARB, ensuring that they are representative of the type of home, individual, TV reception and facilities within the home, for example, video, PVR (personal video recorder, e.g. Freeview+, Sky+) or ownership of more than one television.

There are over 425 Welsh speakers on the measurement panel, and with BARB estimating approximately 640,000 Welsh speakers (Aged 4+) in Wales, on balance, this means that one Welsh speaker represents around 1,000 people in Wales . This compares favourably to the sample throughout Britain, with 5,100 homes and 12,500 individuals on the overall panel, with one individual on the British panel representing around 4,500 people.

Overnight viewing figures arrive at S4C the following morning, with final viewing figures arriving over the next 28 days. Generally, consolidated figures are taken as including the subequent week.

The following data is derived from the panel:

  • Thousands of viewers: how many people in Wales were watching, including guests and recording playback up to 28 days following a programme broadcast.
  • Thousands of Welsh speaking viewers: how many Welsh speakers were watching, including guests, and recording playback up to 28 days following a programme broadcast.
  • Share amongst Welsh speakers: how many Welsh speakers were watching S4C, as a percentage of all Welsh speakers watching any of the BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, S4C, C4, five or Cable/Satellite/Freeview channels at that time (including guests and video).
  • S4C weekly reach: how many tuned into S4C for three minutes or more at some time during the week, portrayed as a percentage of the TV population.

Audience Reaction

S4C's Reaction Panel is conducted by TRP.

There are 1,500 people on the panel consisting of Welsh and non Welsh speakers, with the data weighted to be representative of Welsh speakers and Welsh people overall in Wales in terms of geography, age, social class and sex.

Every week, each member receives a programme diary and occasionally a questionnaire. The programme diary contains all the programmes within that week for S4C. The member awards a mark out of 10 for each programme watched in the diary, resulting in AI's [Appreciation Indices] for each of these programmes. An AI is a score out of 100 and S4C's programme scores are compared with that of the genre. It is also possible to compare channel scores at a general level.

The questionnaire content varies each week with questions about television programmes as well as questions about general issues.

Marketing Research

A survey is conducted once a year of 1,000 people (800 Welsh speakers, and 200 non Welsh speakers) throughout Wales, to measure factors relating to channel imagery.

Research into On-line Services

Many aspects of on-line services are measured: below is a list of the main currencies, and their definitions:

Viewing Sessions - number of sessions of viewing on Clic and iPlayer, , including live viewing on Clic. It is possible to distinguish programmes from clips and promotional material.

Downloads - number of times an item has been downloaded, for example a podcast or an App.

Web statistics: (Measured by Google Analytics)

Visits - number of visits to a website, counting only one visit every half hour by computer

Unique Users - number of different visitors that have visited the website in the period

Page Impressions - number of pages viewed within a website, a page can count more than once

We also monitor the use of the different social networking sites.

Religion Research

To coincide with S4C's series on the religious revival, "Diwygiad 04/05", shown in October 2004, S4C commissioned research to discover the attitudes and behaviour of people in Wales regarding religion. Beaufort Research placed questions on religion on behalf of S4C in their regular Omnibus Survey in June 2004.

This was a representative sample throughout Wales of 993 individuals aged over 16. The data tables show analyses by subregion and by demographics. This data should not be reproduced for publishing without prior consultation with S4C.

Click here to read the document 'Research into Religion in Wales'.

Subtitling Research

In conjunction with the RNID, S4C has conducted research among a sample of S4C viewers and has now concluded that a more wide-ranging and detailed study of the viewers' needs is essential before developing the subtitling service.

Click here to read the document: 'Research into the demand for Welsh language subtitling in Wales'.

These document are available in 'Adobe Acrobat PDF' format. If you haven't got the Acrobat 'plug-in' installed in your browser, you can get it from the Adobe website (it's completely free).

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