Changes OK'd in Circulation Reports
The changes reflect several months of consideration by several committees set up in July by the Schaumburg, Ill.-based organization.
ABC's board of directors passed the measures at a meeting last week in Toronto, and will consider them again for final approval at another board meeting in March. The changes were set to be officially announced Monday, and were first reported by The New York Times.
Under current rules, newspapers may only report as paid circulation any copies that are sold for at least half the set price, either on newsstands or by subscription. Some publishers wanted to change the rule to allow themselves more flexibility in making promotional efforts with discounted copies.
The new measures allow publishers to count as paid circulation any copies sold for at least 25 percent of their established price. But publishers would also be required to provide more data on how many copies are sold at which price levels.
Under a proposed new reporting format, publishers will say how many copies were sold to individuals for at least 50 percent of the established price, and they will also report how many copies were sold for 25 percent to 50 percent.
The new reporting measures, if approved, would go into effect in the six-month reporting period ending next September.
The ABC also monitors circulation for magazines, business publications and farm publications. Those divisions are also considering changes to their reporting practices, but so far the newspaper proposal is the only one that has been passed.