Association Announces Audience Measurement Initiative
Aimed at offering print advertisers better ‘reader engagement’
from AICPA Custom Media Solutions
The Magazine Publishers of America (MPA) —
an association for an industry that has been wrestling for ways
to develop compelling magazine engagement numbers for advertisers
used to the immediacy of the Web and overnight viewership of television
— recently announced a “major
initiative” aimed at improving its measurement of magazine
The MPA’s plan includes a proposal for new
audience-based metrics that count “exposure,” “engagement”
and “action-taking” as a result of ad placement.
According to the MPA, “exposure” includes
“syndicated issue-by-issue data and key demographics such
as age, gender, income, ethnicity and family status.” Engagement
is considered issue-by-issue recall measurement for individual ads,
while the “action-taking” metrics are self-reported
consumer action numbers — including purchase intent —
as well as how many consumers go to an advertiser’s dedicated
landing page on the Web.
As part of its plan, the MPA wants to expedite the
process of reporting such data -- six to eight weeks from distribution
date for weekly titles, eight to 12 weeks from distribution date
for monthly titles — for the 200 largest magazines.
“There is real pressure from advertisers for
a magazine measurement system that is comparable to other media,”
MPA President Nina Link told FOLIO Magazine last month:
“It is the perfect moment.”
Now, Link says, the magazine industry needs advertising
and research communities to improve the quality and timeliness of
their online survey methodology.
However, many industry analysts are at best, cautiously
optimistic, that the MPA audience measurement plan can deliver metrics
on par with the immediacy of the Web and the overnight numbers of
McPheters and Co., a strategic media research firm,
ceased operation of Readership.com — a project that promised
continuous audience measurement on a per issue basis — because
some publishers thought the increased transparency would hurt magazines,
not help them.
The Audit Bureau of Circulation's Rapid Report saw
a precipitously slow buy-in from publishers.
Mediamark Research & Intelligence (MRI) launched
a similar pilot study in 2006 and debuted the service last June.
Link says MRI is still testing the service, and that the MPA fully
supports the project.