A new era of audience measurement for publishers
The Publishers Audience Measurement Company - PAMCo - has now taken over the role of the NRS in producing audience estimates for published media. Here, its CEO, Simon Redican, explains what happens next.
Last week saw the launch of new national daily, The New Day, and established newsbrands The Independent and Independent on Sunday committing to a digital-only future.
These are the latest tangible examples of an industry truism - publishers are in a platform-neutral, content creation business. The approaches of Trinity Mirror and ESI Media demonstrate that the digital age offers publishers a wealth of distribution channels to get their content in front of their audience in ways which make best business sense.
This liberated approach to content distribution lies behind one of the major industry initiatives of the last year. The Published Media industry (magazine media, newsbrands and their agency counterparts and advertiser customers) is currently piloting a brand new audience measurement system. Audience Measurement for Publishers (AMP), which will finally show overall de-duplicated reach of publisher brands across print, PC, mobile and tablet.
The Publishers Audience Measurement Company (PAMCo) launched on 1 January 2016 to take over the role of NRS Ltd in producing audience estimates for the published media industry.
Our new data set, AMP, will be the latest Joint Industry Currency (JIC). Across the industry there is increasing recognition that the JIC system provides a transparency and objectivity which is not always obvious when looking at proprietary data, especially in the pure play digital market. JICs are owned and overseen by advertisers, agencies and media owners, with the sole objective of producing jointly agreed metrics showing the reach and consumption of their particular sector.
Published Media has had a long-standing challenge in demonstrating the overall de-duplicated audiences, which publishers are delivering in ever increasing numbers. AMP will ensure that customers and publishers will finally have a real understanding of this de-duplicated reach across all platforms.
PAMCo has engaged Ipsos and comScore to create a world leading approach to published media audience measurement. At the heart of our new service will be a 5,000-strong digital panel, which will provide duplication data across print and digital, to help us better understand how people consume content across platforms.
A real boon to publishers and agencies is use of audience estimate data from comScore in AMP. comScore has been appointed by UKOM to be the supplier of the industry standard data for digital audience measurement. This means that data from AMP will be comparable across the myriad different sectors which make up 'digital'.
Ipsos will deliver 35,000 high quality, face to face interviews which will allow us to gather data on print consumption and demography and will sit at the core of the new solution. Ipsos is also piloting a brand-first approach for the first time in the UK, to reflect the platform neutral stance of publishers in a digital world.
When it comes to face to face interviewing, it is interesting to note that all but one of the major research companies tendering for the contract proposed this approach. Further vindication, came with the recent inquest in to how pollsters so badly predicted the outcome of the 2015 general election. Poor quality samples, often derived from self-selecting online panels, proved inaccurate, when predicting the eventual outcome.
This gives us confidence that combining the highest quality, tried and trusted face to face interviews, with the latest passive measurement of digital audiences will deliver the industry a service designed and built for the 21st Century.
Having the ability to plan a brand's audience across all of its platforms is incredibly exciting."
As an ex planner, buyer and seller of media space, what equally excites me is the utility of the new service. NRS PADD allows publishers to present a total audience figure for print, PC and mobile (PC and tablet combined), but it doesn't allow for reach and frequency planning across all platforms. This results in use of the service as an implementational planning tool for print, but little else.
Having the ability to plan a brand's audience across all of its platforms is incredibly exciting, and has all sorts of implications on how publishers and agencies can interact commercially.
Rather than planning the current mixture of formats in print and impressions online, publishers can offer agency customers a combined sell across all platforms. Packages of impressions, frequency, reach or ratings can be planned across every platform.
Publishers can re-think how they package their formats to reflect such new planning approaches. Teams will have increasing clarity on using proprietary data which supports performance marketing versus AMP data, which looks at total market and brand reach and supports a sell based on size of myriad audiences, all in the unique context of powerful editorial environments.
Our current estimates are that, of the brands measured across NRS PADD across all platforms, mobile adds 78% net reach on average to the individual publisher brand. The ability to be able to plan and monetise this mobile audience alone will be a huge boon to publishers, and ease of use for planning and trading can fundamentally change agency and publisher relationships.
At a strategic planning level, AMP will continue to feed into IPA TouchPoints, helping to put Published Media into its wider market context.
We are currently piloting our new approach in the first half of 2016. We are also working with our partners in the industry computer bureaux to ensure that end users can interact with the data in a way which will reflect its more up to date utility. Much work needs to be done to ensure advertisers, agencies and publishers are geared up to maximise the value which AMP will bring in the latter half of 2017.
Exciting times lie ahead. PAMCo will do all it can to deliver transparent and objective measurement of publisher audiences across all platforms.
We urge all in the industry to be ready to fully exploit the industry's latest Joint Industry Currency. AMP can help make a real difference to the prosperity of a sector which produces some of the best loved and most popular content in the UK.
If you want to know more, you can get in touch with Simon via Simon@pamco.co.uk