Unlimited-access programs have been called the Netflix of magazines. For a monthly fee, users can access digital copies of magazines from a variety of publishers.
The category, called “Multi-Title Digital Programs” will help verify circulation numbers for unlimited-access magazine programs. AAM-audited magazines will see the new circulation category included in the June 2016 AAM reports covering the first six months of the year.
Sue Roberson, SVP and general manager of consumer marketing and revenue, Time Inc., stated that establishing the qualification criteria for digital "helps legitimize the innovative work of the consumer magazine media industry."
AAM, a nonprofit founded by the Association of National Advertisers to ensure media transparency and provide independent verification and information services to publishers and advertisers, worked with the MPA - The Association of Magazine Media to review how unlimited-access models are offered to consumers.
In the new “Multi-Title” category, publishers will report these issues as paid subscriptions sales, not newsstand sales.
The AAM online database will also include data, such as the average number of total requests by paid subscribers to receive a digital issue, the average number of times issues were opened and unique and total opens.
As of June 2015, the latest data available, AAM reports digital magazines accounted for 4.3% of its total paid and verified circulation. During that period, roughly 20% of that came from unlimited-access programs.
The AAM is preparing the launch of new products, such as AAM Site Certifier, which will automatically verify premium publishers’ Web site metrics from Googly Analytics and Adobe Analytics. AAM is also working on an ad block detection capability, which would report ad blocking usage across browsers, locations and devices.
AAM expects to roll out these products in the first quarter of 2016.