MAGAZINE ABCs: How the system is trying to evolve with the industry

Change is sweeping across the magazine industry and its Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABCs) is evolving fast to try and reflect these changes, says ABC's group executive director of client services, Jan Pitt.

Jan Pitt: ABC's group executive director of client services
Jan Pitt: ABC's group executive director of client services

Improvements in technology and a desire amongst consumers to absorb media through their preferred channels mean a whole new range of opportunities for publishers to deliver content and also challenges for the ABC.

We are responding to those challenges by consulting with media owners and buyers to ensure that our products and services are evolving to meet industry requirements.

Over the past year ABC has developed new app traffic metrics, multi-platform reporting that allows publishers to showcase their brand reach, a new WebBase scheme delivering an easier and cheaper way for publishers to continually report their online and new reporting standards for Digital Publications and Digital Editions.

Innovations in the industry saw the launch of Apple’s Newsstand in October 2011. This was well received by publishers, enabling them access to a whole new audience.

ABC can include Newsstand sales for iPad digital editions, as long they adhere to the reporting standards. A number of publishers will be including iPad sales within their digital edition figure in today’s Consumer Magazines Report.

Publishers are exploiting many opportunities offered by the new technology. It will be great to see a number of major publishing groups reporting across both their print and digital platforms in the latest Consumer Magazines Report, issued today.

This can only encourage trading in this new area. There has been a substantial rise in the number of titles reporting their digital editions, with some individual titles showing great progress with strong increases from the last reporting period.

New rules have also been introduced this year to cover Digital Publications which do not have a link to a print edition or want to be reported separately.

With our new range of products media owners can now report a wide range of metrics across all print and digital platforms to industry agreed standards including websites, apps, digital editions, digital publications, social media, email and databases.

Back at ABC and through our industry committees, we will continue to review feedback from publishers and agencies in order to evolve the rules rapidly and in line with industry needs.

Much work is underway but there’s no time to rest on our laurels. We intend to continue to ensure we help the industry to make the most of the opportunities that the future holds.

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