Includes a combined print and digital edition total on ABC certificates and mandatory reporting of month-by-month circulation, as well as the 6-month/12-month average
Today, in the interests of greater clarity and transparency, the ABC Board has agreed a number of significant changes to the way ABC data will be reported for Consumer Magazines.
This package includes reporting a combined print and digital edition figure on ABC certificates and in the published ABC Consumer Magazine report. These changes will come into effect for the July to December 2013 reporting period. The figures for this period will be published by ABC on 13th February 2014. The Issue by Issue/Monthly Consumer Magazine report will now also be published on this date, alongside the bi-annual ABC Consumer Magazine Report, rather than a month in arrears.
In addition, from the January to June 2014 reporting period, all ABC Consumer Magazine titles will now be required to report data on a monthly basis, as well as a Total Average Net Circulation figure for the half-year or full year. This will offer a greater level of transparency to the media industry. The monthly totals and the proportion which is Actively Purchased will appear on each Consumer Magazine ABC certificate and also in the Issue by Issue/Monthly Consumer Magazine report. The number of bundled subscriptions sold for a combined print and digital package will also be clearly stated on the certificate.
These changes are in line with ABC’s vision of allowing buyers and publisher’s greater flexibility in the way they analyse and present ABC data. In January 2013 ABC launched QuickView, a new, more adaptable reporting tool which enabled users to explore ABC data in a variety of ways to suit their different needs. Publishers have been able to present combined print and digital figures for their media brands for the past year via this method.
The vision of the ABC Board is that ABC continues to serve the industry’s needs, innovating in response to changes in the media market. The ABC Board works by consensus, moving the industry forward through collective decision-making. This ensures the support of all sides of the media industry, taking into account media owner, media agency and advertiser points of view. ISBA (The voice of British Advertisers), IPA (representing media and other agencies) and the PPA (Professional Publishers Association), are some of the trade bodies represented on the ABC Board.
With audiences interacting with media brands in many different ways, media owners want and need to demonstrate a broader view of their overall performance. Digital editions are increasingly becoming an important platform for the industry and in the last ABC Consumer Magazines report, digital editions increased circulation year on year by 58.9 per cent. ABC Standards cover a wide range of platforms including; digital editions, digital publications (e.g. Apps), websites, social media, print, exhibitions, email, newsletters and many more. New measurements are constantly being developed with the support of the industry providing an ABC ‘stamp of trust’ across the full extent of a brand’s reach.
Jerry Wright, Chief Executive, ABC comments: “ABC is constantly innovating to meet the needs of the entire media industry. It is this widespread buy-in that makes the ABC ‘stamp of trust’ so powerful. As a result, all sides of the industry recognise the value of reporting standards agreed through consensus by all. As the prominence of new platforms increases, ABC remains committed to delivering industry-owned media brand certification across multiple channels.”
Lynne Robinson, Research Director, IPA comments: “Buyers welcome the greater transparency delivered by these new and more timely metrics. As publications extend their brands onto the emerging technology platforms, ABC is working to provide credible, robust and industry comparable measures to underpin these new markets.”
Steve Goodman, Managing Director of Print Trading, Group M comments: “The media industry has changed significantly. With so many platforms available, it is crucial to us, as buyers and planners, to be able to understand where our audience is. This is an incredibly important development from ABC formed with the consensus of all parties for the good of the industry.”
Barry McIlheney, Chief Executive, PPA comments: “This is a real step forward for Consumer Magazines to be able to demonstrate the breadth of their brand’s circulation. It is an excellent example of the industry coming together to facilitate significant change.”
Changes to the reporting of ABC Consumer Magazine figures in detail
1. The ABC certificate name would be changed to ‘Combined Total Circulation Certificate’. This would be the name of the certificate even if digital editions are not claimed.
2. ‘Total Average Print and Digital Circulation per issue’ will be the first section on the second page on the certificate and three totals will appear on the front page. A total for print & digital; a total for print; and a total for digital. The word ‘gross’ would be appended to the print & digital total to highlight that the numbers are not de-duped.
3. The number of sales or subscriptions sold as a print & digital bundle and reported as two copies (one for print and one for digital edition) will be noted on the certificate.
4. ABC will include a Combined Print and Digital Edition table in the Consumer Magazine Report.
5. Optional Publication Active View information for digital editions would be included on the certificate even if none were reported.
6. All ABC Consumer Magazine publications would be required to report data on a monthly basis, and the Actively Purchased element of these, on their certificate.
7. The Issue by Issue/Monthly report will be published at the same time as the Consumer Magazine Report.
8. The presentation of data in ABC QuickView will remain unchanged, displaying print and digital edition data on separate lines and with the ability to combine.
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