The recent announcement that all Alliance for Audited Media (AAM) and larger Certified Audit of Circulations (CAC) U.S. newspapers will transition from filing six-month publisher’s statements to reporting cross-media data on a new quarterly “Audience View” report beginning in 2015 has significant meaning for the way U.S. newspapers will now report circulation numbers.

According to Neal Lulofs, AAM executive vice president of marketing and strategy, the change will help satisfy media buyers’ need for more frequent and timely data, and support the AAM’s desire to make its Media Intelligence Center (MIC) a more robust audited cross-media database. AAM’s traditional “Snapshot” report will be replaced with a new format that reflects quarterly newspaper information and is housed online in the MIC database.

The requirement was already in place for U.S. newspapers with circulations of more than 25,000. But starting with the fourth quarter of this year, U.S. AAM titles with circulations under 25,000 and CAC titles of more than 25,000 are also expected to file print data on a quarterly schedule. Canadian newspapers are expected to begin filing quarterly data beginning in June 2015. In addition, Lulofs said all newspapers will be encouraged to report monthly usage metrics for their desktop and mobile websites and related apps.

“In today’s industry, a twice-a-year report wasn’t timely enough,” Lulofs said. “Also, we wanted to get more pertinent digital information. So, AAM reports will have more of a focus on the online database, rather than the traditional pdf of print circulations.”

One of the new features of the new Audience View report will be the option to download the report, Lulofs said. Users will be able to download information straight from the AAM data base.

“The report will be more streamlined now,” Lulofs said. “We have thousands of users on both publishers’ and advertisers’ side. We’re feeding information to SRDS (Standard Rate & Data Service) and many large advertising agencies, so it’s important to continually update to meet everyone’s needs.”

Also, the AAM board agreed recently to narrow the qualification requirements for digital editions. For “verified” and bundled single-price subscriptions, newspapers currently use a tiered access model (monthly, weekly, daily) as a guide when counting an individual subscriber who accesses content across multiple devices like tablets, smartphones and desktop websites.

The AAM will eliminate the tiered model and qualify all digital circulation units on a daily access model, which means that subscribers can be claimed on days when content is accessed. The new standard is expected to become effective with the October-December 2014 quarterly filing period. The AAM will review the current “total consumer accounts” metric for possible modification or elimination.

Comments

Why do we care so much about audience?

Bill Garber | Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I'm reminded of a college president who told the college board, "Look, we lose money on every student we enroll. Why do we want to enroll more students?"
Which reminds me of the story of the brothers who had a truck and went in the business of providing hay to suburban horse farms. They bought the hay for $3 a bale out in the country, hauled it to the suburbs, and sold it for $3 a bale. A couple months of this, and the brothers met to discuss their business. One of the brothers said, "I'm been thinking. We are not doing so well." The other brother said, "I've noticed the same thing. And I've decided we need a bigger truck."
I'm pretty sure that no matter how high we can inflate AMM numbers, advertising will never be sufficient to sustain publishing, if by publishing we mean employing a bevy of people reporting news at the levels we once could and did, and surely not, at the expense of the bevy, making profit levels we would kill for today and were once the source of complaints of inadequacy compared with the legendary profits that so many are reminded of while touring San Simeon.

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