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Let's be positive about press

17 Aug 2012 |   

Glossy Girl & Paper Boy review the latest ABC Consumer Magazines and National Newspaper data, as well as today's NRS figures...

As always, or for as long as we can remember, looking at the ABC or NRS releases is deflating reading.

The latest figures are no exception with easily predictable performances for most publishers. However, more so than ever there is a concerted effort to get us all thinking about the combined audience reach and touchpoints for media brands across all print and digital platforms.

Over the last decade publishers have been trying to gain traction by combining print and online data. Yes, of course they wanted to use this to help sell ads but a more realistic aim was to frame an understanding that they weren't dwindling businesses with dwindling audiences. To talk about a media brand's multiple touchpoints and overall audience gives a much clearer understanding about that title's power, influence and value. And this message is as important for internal audiences as well as corporate ones.

So we now see more resonance from commentators reviewing the digital edition data in the ABC certificate. The digital editions only make singular percentage figures of the overall total but this story is only heading one way. AutoTrader has been the first to announce in public that they can't see themselves publishing a print edition in 2014.

The release of NRS PADD is another step in the right direction and we are looking forward to reviewing the data when it is released. And with Newsworks promoting newsbands rather than newspapers we are all starting from a more positive position. Media agencies are now taking up the baton and will provide even more understanding to their clients.

But it is data and you will always find areas that at the moment seem out of kilter with what you would naturally expect. For example i now sells nearly a quarter of a million copies and the unabridged Independent has dropped year on year by 23% to half of what i sells. However, both publications have similar readership at around half a million and The Independent's readership figure has remained static despite falling sales.

Why? Well short term comparisons don't always correlate between circulation and readership, plus we must remember that the NRS, although not designed that way or as an objective, in some ways measures brand recognition. We are sure in time this contradiction will come out in the wash.

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