ABC Approves Changes To Newspaper Circulation Rules


The Audit Bureau of Circulations has approved a wide-ranging series of revisions to rules governing how newspaper publishers measure and report circulation to the ABC.

The changes are intended to simplify the process for newspapers and allow them to take credit for readers using different platforms, including print, online and mobile channels. The ABC board also agreed to freeze audit fees for 2010, in a move intended to lessen financial pressure during a tentative recovery.

Among the revisions approved by the ABC board and announced on Tuesday, newspapers with "branded" editions -- including free commuter dailies which condense the regular paper, and Spanish-language publications -- are now permitted to count these editions as part of their total average circulation.

The ABC rule changes also allow newspapers to count readers who maintain separate subscriptions to newspapers for print, mobile and e-reader editions multiple times in different categories, provided they pay for each separate subscription.



These new categories are detailed in a new ABC "Publisher's Statement" that will be available in October, with a front page covering average paid and verified circulation and "Audience-FAX" readers, and subsequent pages detailing circulation for core print newspaper readership. Various digital editions include e-reader and mobile delivery and the "branded" editions.

Finally, the ABC changes also address "hybrid editions" -- for example, the model used by the Detroit Free Press, in which a subscriber receives print newspapers on some days and digital editions on others.

The ABC clarified that hybrid edition readers can only be counted once, and only provided that there is evidence that they accessed the digital edition or paid an incremental fee for the extra edition. That's compared to "bundled" subscriptions for readers who receive print and digital editions of the same newspaper every day.

3 comments about "ABC Approves Changes To Newspaper Circulation Rules".
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  1. Jonathan Mirow from BroadbandVideo, Inc., July 28, 2010 at 11:53 a.m.

    The new rules also allow the following "audit methods":
    1) Newspapers are now allowed to count people who they think may have purchased any newspaper in their lifetime as "regular subscribers".
    2) Kidnappers and others who use newspapers to prove dates during criminal activities will be counted as "regular subscribers".
    3) Any online user who views an ad for a newspaper will be counted as a "regular subscriber".
    4) All newspaper audit circulation numbers will be appended with the figure "000,000".

  2. Randy Novak from NSA Media, July 28, 2010 at 12:11 p.m.

    Jonathan, your daily comments are generally biased and of little value. Stick to Video where Hulu numbers drop by over 20,000,000 in a single month based on Comscore "adjustments", and then let's talk about audit methods my friend.

  3. Jonathan Mirow from BroadbandVideo, Inc., July 28, 2010 at 7:17 p.m.

    Yeah, I know I'm biased - but I don't know about the little value part, probably no value would be more on target. But I do speak from a wealth of cynical experience - how many other folks do you know that can claim (an verify) the creation of the worlds' first graphic-based online newspaper? I saw it all go down in flames when it didn't have to, and that's why I rant. That and advancing dementia. Have a day.

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