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A Remarkable Enumeration Study

The ARF Universe Study of Device and Account Sharing (ARF DASH) is a syndicated, nationally projectable consumer enumeration study. DASH documents in granular detail how US consumers connect to and use TV and digital devices, as well as streaming media and ecommerce accounts. This data has a variety of technical applications, including estimating universes, weighting panels, projecting samples, addressing biases and gaps in census level data, and assigning TVs, devices, impressions and accounts to individuals and households. In addition, DASH is broad repository of insight into viewer and shopper behavior.

Seven companies, representing a cross-section of the industry, sponsored the development work for the first DASH study in 2021. The 2022 study, now completed, also includes sections on genre viewing and TV casting from 5G devices. In addition, DASH audience segments of interest to advertisers will be made available as media targets through a partnership with Experian.

The ARF is offering licenses to the study results to ARF members and non-members alike, with the goal of creating a cost-efficient, accurate and comprehensive standard for the benefit of the industry. The ARF will pursue MRC accreditation for DASH, starting this year.

To learn more, contact Jim Meyer, General Manager, or Paul Donato, ARF Chief Research Officer, at DASH@thearf.org or by clicking the link below.


Industry Leaders Explain the Benefits of the DASH Study

Household Device and Account Usage

The nature and scale of digital media presents unprecedented challenges for researchers, product developers and strategists, who need a precise and cohesive understanding of device and account sharing and usage at the individual and household levels.

Nearly every digital media user has multiple profiles across a wide array of service categories. Users share TVs, gaming consoles, tablets, PCs and other devices within their households. What’s more, millions share access to their streaming media and ecommerce accounts with family and friends. Complicating the matter further, each provider’s view of usage and usage dynamics is limited to its own system and “footprint.”

Some companies conduct their own enumeration studies or try to piece together disparate datasets to estimate this universe, but these approaches can be expensive and produce limited, non-standard results. The ARF DASH Study addresses these challenges in a unique and unprecedented way. The idea is to create a cost-efficient set of data and measures that everyone in the industry can rely on.

Unraveling Cross-Platform and Cross-Device Usage

The ARF has partnered with NORC at the University of Chicago to develop the survey and conduct the fieldwork against a national probability sample of 10,000 persons, age 18 and older, with an additional sample of teens users ages 13-17. NORC’s proprietary AmeriSpeak panel forms the backbone of the sample plan. Interviews have been conducted online, in person and by phone to ensure a representative sample. Meanwhile, NORC panel registrations provide respondent and household demographics. NORC’s rigorous audit process ensures high-quality response data.

The study gathers granular data on TV brands, locations, service modes and capabilities, in addition to device-by-device ownership and usage and respondents’ viewing and co-viewing—across live and streaming media services (including both ad supported and subscription). The survey includes in-depth modules on ecommerce, streaming audio and social media accounts, as well as apps and privacy settings. DASH also produces a comprehensive device graph, which includes individual device ownership, usage and sharing among household members and supports the householding of otherwise unconnected devices.


DASH is conducted annually in two waves. The full 2022 dataset was released in January 2023. Full year results from DASH 2021 are also available.

Licensing the Results

The ARF offers licenses to the 2022 and 2021 results data in three tiers, starting at $75,000, a fraction of the cost of conducting a similarly comprehensive study yourself.

Tier levels include:

  • Basic offers summary-level data in a Tableau and Heroku dashboards for panel weighting, sample balancing, modeling household device and account topographies and many strategy and insights applications.
  • Basic Plus adds a non-matchable, anonymized, respondent-level database for custom segmentation, profiling and analysis.
  • Premium features a privacy-compliant, respondent-level database that can be matched to the licensee’s customer, census level data or research database, using a third-party integrator. The ARF’s integration partner for this study, Experian, has developed an integration protocol and is offering its service to Premium licensees.

Licensees of DASH 2022 that also license the 2021 data will receive two additional benefits:

    (1) access to a longitudinal data set of 3,000 repeat respondents, for advanced tracking, and
    (2) the right to combine DASH data across years, for custom analyses.

To learn more, contact Jim Meyer, DASH General Manager, or Paul Donato, ARF Chief Research Officer, or at DASH@thearf.org or by clicking the link below.