BPA Issues New and Amended Rules for 2012
App reporting continues to present a challenge.
Media auditor BPA Worldwide approved a number of new and amended rules during its December 2011 meeting in New York City, including several that address the increasing difficulty of measuring a magazineâ€™s digital audience.
Reporting app usage, specifically, has been a challenge, increasingly so as the format is moving toward â€śpush,â€ť rather than email, notification of a new issueâ€™s delivery, for which there is no mechanism for tracking successful delivery.
To address this, the BPA board has approved reporting â€śdownloaded appsâ€ť by month within a BPA Brand Report, as opposed to a standard BPA report, along with a footnote disclosing the limitations of the figures. Apps related to the brand but not serving editorial contentâ€”such as gamesâ€”must be reported as their own channel in the Brand Report and cannot be counted toward total circulation. Downloaded issues may be reported as â€śqualified circulationâ€ť as long as the publisher can provide issue download data.
Subscriber access to digital copies will now be used to substantiate a renewal in the following cases: when a weekly publication has been accessed nine times every six months, when a monthly publication has been accessed twice every six months, when a quarterly publication has been accessed once every six months and when a semiannual publication has been accessed once per audit period.
In response to feedback from members, the BPA board has also changed the current format for reporting readers in the â€śprint,â€ť â€śdigitalâ€ť and â€śbothâ€ť categories. Previously, readers of both print and digital editions were reported only once, in the â€śbothâ€ť category; now, they will be included in the â€śtotal printâ€ť and â€śtotal digitalâ€ť as well as â€śtotal qualified (unique recipients)â€ť columns.
Also in response to feedback, the BPA board has moved to reverse its May 2010 decision to consolidate 3b reporting. The updated rule requires publishers to report five source categories: direct request, request from recipientâ€™s company, membership benefits, communication other than request and sources other than above. The rule is effective July 1 of this year, with first reporting on December statements.
According to the agency, BPA is working with the industry to develop improved metrics on app counts, as software and production/distribution vendors work to provide publishers with deeper data.