News Corp’s magazine division is the latest big name player to pull out of the Audited Media Association of Australia (AMAA) measurement and follows Bauer’s exit last week.
The AMAA measures actual sales of magazines over the EMMA data which measures readership. Obviously with sales of magazines in decline the AMAA data often proves a real misery for publishers attempting to attract dwindling advertisers. Conversely, the EMMA data, which often shows multiple readers for a single title, delivers a more compelling argument.
Publishers, quite rightly, argue that their titles are much more than simply print these days, hence, why the AMAA figures are increasingly redundant and don’t reflect online or mobile readers.
News’ decision today, reported on The Australian’s website, impacts its titles such as GQ and Vogue Australia, however, its custom publishing titles will remain part of the audit.
In a release to media, News DNA managing director Nicole Sheffield said: “Magazine brands today are consumed across many platforms including print, digital, social and events. The audience that our brands talk to is growing significantly and to reflect this, our measurement must give a complete audience picture.
“There are so many measures of our industry and it can be confusing and costly. After undertaking this review we have determined that the focus should be on our total audience and not sales. This is the metric that our advertisers and media buyers use to make their buying decisions and evaluate performance across other main media.
“We have always been transparent with our measures and circulation alone no longer reflects the breadth and depth of the brand reading audience. The reality is, if you look at other media, we don’t count the number of TV sets in a home as a measure of TV audience or outdoor billboards as a measure of outdoor audience.” Sheffield said
(B&T has updated this story).
However, this morning the AMAA released a statement regarding News’ departure. The statement in full read and came from AMAA CEO Josanne Ryan.
“In a digital-first world it’s understandable that the magazine publishers are focused on multi- channel audience metrics.
‘Print continues to form a key part of this audience network with audited circulation being a measure of the primary purchaser, and as such represents the primary reader of the print channel.
‘Independent research by the AMAA confirmed that the ABC Audited Circulation data was rated by marketers and agencies as the most trusted metric ahead of all other third party audience metrics.
‘We are disappointed that the lead magazine groups have made a decision to move away from providing the audited circulation data, however it is now up to marketers and agencies to determine what data points they require to ensure they have trusted metrics on which to invest advertising.
‘The AMAA will continue to work with members to provide verification solutions for their brands, along with our work across multiple channels and supporting accountability and transparency in the media trading ecosystem.”