Newspaper Auditor to Add Web Statistics

By RJI on July 23, 2007 0 Comments

by Robert MacMillan, Reuters, http://www.reuters.com

In a July 17, 2007 article on the Reuters website, Robert MacMillan writes that the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), the main U.S. newspaper auditing group, announced it will begin tallying online readership as well as print-edition circulation in a boost to an industry where advertising sales have suffered from a migration of readers to the Web.

MacMillan writes:

The main U.S. newspaper auditing group said on Tuesday it would begin tallying online readership as well as print-edition circulation in a boost to an industry where advertising sales have suffered from a migration of readers to the Web.  The Audit Bureau of Circulations said it would release newspapers' print, online and combined readership figures. The numbers are a key factor in negotiations on newspaper advertising rates between newspapers and marketers.

An advertiser's main way of gauging a publication's health has been to measure the number of subscribers who buy the print edition each day.

The Audit Bureau releases average paid daily circulation for newspapers twice a year. Those numbers have been declining for years, prompting advertisers to shift more of their print budget to other media outlets.

That trend is expected to continue this week as publishers such as Gannett Co. Inc. and Dow Jones & Co. Inc. are expected to show further declines in print advertising in their quarterly earnings reports.

Publishers, led by the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), have tried to convince advertisers to look at the total amount of readers papers have, including on the Internet.

The audit bureau's decision to include verified figures from tracking firms Scarborough Research, Nielsen//NetRatings and comScore Inc. should please advertisers because of the bureau's reputation for reliability, said John Kimball, chief marketing officer at the NAA.

"There is a sense on the part of advertisers that, with their gold seal of approval, the data is a credible source," Kimball said...

Click here to read MacMillan's article in its entirety on the Reuters website.