ABC releases data for the UK media industry to use when trading print, digital and event advertising.
Since 1931 we’ve worked with media buyers and sellers to set impartial, industry-agreed measurement Standards. The figures we publish are prepared to these Standards, audited, and provide a transparent count of total activity.
Our logo stands for quality and trust in media, empowering our £22bn industry to trade with confidence.
ABC data is data that’s been supplied to us by our media owner members, which is then audited to our industry agreed standards.
We compile our data on a ‘census’ basis (i.e. a full, official count) using supporting, factual evidence.
The data can be quantitative (such as the number of print copies circulated or unique web browsers), and also qualitative (such as the specific distribution points for free printed copies, or the names of other media titles packaged in a multipack).
Media owners can join ABC to become members. In doing so, they agree to review their business processes and prepare their data in line with our standards.
When the time’s right (we’ll give a prompt) media owners submit their data to us and provide a ‘claim’ for their figures. We’ll present the claim within a certificate and relevant reports.
Our audit teams then verify the data and claim using a broad range of tests based on the type of media product and how it’s been distributed. This can include rigorous checks of factual evidence, and arranging ‘reality tests’ like phone interviews and visits to specific sites.
- Print editions
The definition of a print product is straightforward (newspapers, magazines, etc.), but it’s useful to understand the different distribution methods our members use to put copies into people’s hands. We define these under five main categories, which are:
- Paid Single Copies (Primarily retail copies) Copies that are sold to a retailer for resale as single copies to a consumer.
- Paid Subscriptions Copies sold and distributed to an individual or a group for a contracted period.
- Paid Multiple Copies Copies purchased by a third party and delivered to a location, so they're available for pick up or receipt by consumers.
- Free copies Copies that are distributed, or made available, to consumers for free.
- Membership copies A single copy of an official Society publication that’s distributed to a member of that society.
- Digital editions / digital publications
A digital edition is a digital version of a print edition reported on the same certificate. This may be reported by copies circulated and/or Publication Active Views (PAVs - effectively intentional openings by the consumer). A digital publication – A digital publication reported on a separate certificate, which may or may not have a print equivalent. Again, this may be reported by copies circulated or Publication Active Views (PAVs).
- Web/ app traffic
Traffic is the recorded activity for a website or app. It’s mandatory to report the number of daily unique browsers for each day of the reporting period (repeat visits by the same browser are only counted once). Optional metrics such as page impressions and visits are often included. As part of the audit, ‘invalid’ traffic such as robotic non-human activity is excluded.
- Email distribution
These must be email mailings that are related to a single email product and have been distributed for a defined reporting period. The media owner must report the number of de-duplicated emails successfully sent to individual email addresses, total number of mailings, a product name, a description and its content.
- Event attendance
Attendees at a specific event. These are broken down into visitor and exhibitor attendees.
- Social media
Included on ABC Brand Report certificates only. Defined as the metric count for one or more social media platforms, on the last day of the month covered by the certificate. (NB. We don’t audit the underlying data for social media reporting. As agreed by the industry, media owners have the option to include this information on their brand report to help communicate their overall brand reach.)
- ABC Certificates
Data for each member product is published on an ABC certificate. Current certificates can be viewed and downloaded using our search bar. Historical data can be accessed if you’re an ABC member or subscriber.
- ABC Reports
We also collate and release various interactive data reports. These online reports offer numerous ways to sort the data, making it easy for you to find and export what you need. Our short video shows you how. Our reports are released throughout the year.
We also supplies our data to Mediatel, a popular online platform that provides a ‘one stop shop’ for media buying and planning data. Note that Mediatel also includes non-audited media brand data. Where applicable, always check it’s an ABC figure rather than a ‘publisher statement’.