ABC: E-copies Are Paid Circulation

By: Mark Fitzgerald

Subscriptions to an electronic edition of a newspapers qualify as paid circulation even if the paper allows subscribers to the print edition to access the electronic edition at no additional charge, the board of the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) has decided.

The electronic edition provided to existing print subscribers cannot be counted as additional paid circulation, the board said.

With so many ABC members printing extras because of the ongoing terrorism crisis, the board also gave first approval to a proposal that eliminates the requirements that extras sell for the full single-copy price of the regular newspaper and contain 90% of that day’s scheduled national advertising to qualify as paid circulation. Extras would qualify if they sold for at least 25% of the basic cover price.

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