ABC Introduces Audience Research Data for Small and Mid-size Papers

By: Jennifer Saba

Smaller newspapers once had to pay a considerable sum to get customized audited market data for readership, much more than their large-metro counterparts. The Audit Bureau of Circulations is trying to rectify that cost discrepancy, and on Wednesday announced it’s launching a new readership service aimed at small and mid-size newspapers that can be used in the Audience-FAX.

ABC approached American Opinion Research to handle readership studies for U.S. newspapers that do not qualify for Audience-FAX tier one level — the top 81 markets in the U.S. The cost of the verified readership studies will begin at $11,500 with volume discounts as low as $9,500.

The data from American Opinion Research will show up on Publisher’s Statements, Audit Reports, FAS-FAX reports, and the Audience-FAX report and database.

“We are excited to offer small and mid-size newspapers a low-cost opportunity to glean and promote valuable information about their readers that is only available via customized readership studies,” Mark Wachowicz, ABC senior vice president/marketing and sales, said in a statement. “For the first time, these newspapers now have an incredibly affordable alternative to traditional studies.”

Prior to the ABC offer, small newspaper publishers that fell in tier 2 markets had to contract out their own independent studies if they wanted to participate in the Audience-FAX. These studies cost some five times as much to get comparable audited data used by large newspapers.

The new program was launched with the idea of inducing more newspapers to partake in the Audience-FAX. Currently, more than 175 newspapers participate in Audience-FAX. Scarborough Research provides audience data for newspapers in the top 81 markets and provides custom surveys for papers in other tiers.

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