The magazine industry now has more avenues when it comes to quantifying its total reach—both the Audit Bureau of Circulations, and media research company GfK MRI, have introduced new tools for publishers that can help provide a clearer picture of who readers are, and how many of them exist.
“The metrics that will come out of this are pretty open—anything that’s captured and reported by Adobe will be covered in the audit, and can then therefore be reported by ABC,” Neal Lulofs, executive vice president and general manager of ABC Interactive, tells AD in a telephone interview. “This is a key source of data that we’re now able to audit with a more streamlined fashion—we’ve had a long standing ability to audit these Adobe website metrics, which we’ve done for years. The tablet is an important new piece for publishers, and they want this kind of information included in their ABC reports.”
ABC Interactive will now conduct test audits of several publishers that are currently using the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, and they will verify the ways the system measures and reports items like the number of readers and sessions per issue, in addition to the number of articles read, and the average time spent with an issue.
“We’re gaining the ability to audit the metrics that are specific to these tablet editions,” says Lulofs. When asked about using this report with Apple tablet editions, Lulofs says “Adobe is able to capture iPad metrics with the Digital Publishing Suite today.”
ABC, Adobe and the MPA are all working together to help establish common standards and definitions that will aid advertisers in analyzing and comparing readership of magazines’ tablet versions. The initial recommended metric definitions from the MPA include:
• Total consumer paid digital issues—consumer paid subscriptions and single paid issues
• Total number of tablet readers per issue—issues opened by individual devices
• Total number of sessions per issue—aggregate number of times an issue was accessed
• Total amount of time spent per reader per issue—time spent (on average) with an issue across the total audience
• Average number of sessions per reader per issue—the average number of times each reader accessed the issue
Gfk MRI’s Audience Risk Manager
Meanwhile, GfK MRI is launching its own program to quantify magazine audiences. Magazines, the company says, are different than other media entities where the value is placed on total audience, rather than circulation. This is why GfK MRI is launching its Audience Risk Manager, which offers performance guarantees based on a publication’s total audience, total advertising audience or actions taken.
The Web-based system uses three components to quantify a magazine’s total audience, including the GfK MRI’s Survey of the American Consumer, its Issue Specific study and Starch Advertising Research. Using historical data, the research firm says that it can generate metrics showing the probability that a given schedule will achieve a given audience level. Right now, the company says, the Audience Risk Manager is only available for print magazine products.
“We’ll try to develop a measure of ad and issue performance for tablets,” says Julian Baim, chief research officer for GfK MRI. “Our belief is that moving to an audience guarantee will lead to long term benefits for magazines, so they can compete with other media on a level playing field. To make guarantees at the ad audience level will really elevate magazines to a more ROI-based metric than many other media have. We believe this will benefit the industry and the publishers in the long run as they sell their ad space.”
The Audience Research Manager aims to provide the following:
• Guarantees how many people will read given issues of a magazine
• Guarantees how many people will recall a specific ad appearing in a given issue of a magazine
• Guarantees how many people will take action as the result of seeing a specific ad in a given issue of a magazine