News Corp joins audit exodus

The magazine division of News Corp Australia has become the second major publisher to withdraw its titles from the Audited Media Association of Australia (AMAA) circulation audit in less than a week.NewsLifeMedia

NewsLifeMedia, which publishes Donna Hay, Vogue Australia and GQ Australia, will instead focus on readership and digital metrics from Enhanced Media Metrics Australia and Nielsen.

German-owned Bauer Media, which publishes Australian Women’s Weekly and Cosmopolitan, withdrew from the AMAA on Thursday and Fairfax Media said earlier this year a selection of its websites would no longer be audited.

Pacific Magazines, owned by Seven West Media, refused to comment on its position.

The departure of NewsLifeMedia was welcomed by Mary-Ann Azer, executive director of Magazine Networks, who said circulation data was no longer relevant at a time when the industry operated across more platforms than just print.

Nicole Sheffield, chief executive of NewsLifeMedia, said the division decided to focus on the measurement of total audience and not copy sales after undertaking a review.

By implication this means NewsLifeMedia will not cite the reader per copy metric.

“(Audience) is the metric that our advertisers and media buyers use to make their buying decisions and evaluate performance across other main media,” she said.

“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.”

Josanne Ryan, chief executive of the AMAA, said the organisation was disappointed major magazine publishers had decided to move away from providing circulation data.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

Ms Ryan’s full statement is below.

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.

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