Date Posted: Friday 1st November 2019
DIARY directory recently caught up with ABC's Chief Executive, Simon Redlich. ABC releases data for the UK media industry to use when trading print, digital and event advertising. The company is also a leading industry-owned auditor for media products and services, with specialist skills in digital ad trading. The ABC logo stands for quality and trust in media, empowering the £22bn industry to trade with confidence.
"We’ve seen huge changes over many years which have been driven by technology. The only safe bet is that the industry will continue to change! It’s more striking, perhaps, to look at what doesn’t change."
How do you evaluate audience engagement?
Our primary role as a Joint Industry Currency (JIC) is to provide audited data on how published brands reach their audiences. We don’t measure engagement directly, instead, we provide a foundation of data that can assist in evaluating it.
ABC data includes print, digital editions, web traffic, and events. It can be quantitative (e.g. the number of print copies circulated or unique web browsers), and also qualitative (e.g. the names of other media titles packaged in a multipack). Media owners report their data in accordance with our industry-agreed standards, submitting it to us online. Our job is to audit the data, certify it and make it available via our website.
What means do you use to record this data?
One of the key ABC metrics buyers tells us they use to analyse audience engagement is actively purchased copies. This is the number of magazines paid for by consumers. The number is highlighted both as a figure and percentage on the front page of each ABC consumer magazine certificate.
Another example of this for digital editions is PAV (Publication Active Views) where a single copy of a publication is actively opened on a device.
As we shift from print to online social platforms how does ABC stay ahead and track engagement?
We currently provide audited data for print, digital editions, emails, event attendees, website traffic and apps. We also offer a Brand Report, which media owners can use to demonstrate their reach on multiple platforms and across different global regions. A Brand Report can also include social media data. It provides a succinct indication of brand reach, and media buyers can access the underlying detail to further inform discussions about engagement.
Apart from circulation, what other significant findings do you present?
The headline ABC figure is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of data we provide. For print and digital editions in the consumer magazine sector, copies are broken down into four main reporting categories – paid single copies, paid subscriptions, paid multiple copies and free copies. These are supported by further breakdowns such as cover prices, multipack detail, where copies were bought or given away (such as hotels and airports) and different types of free distribution, to name a few.
For digital editions, apps, and websites, we audit metrics like unique browsers, visits, page impressions and PAVs.
Other areas include net distribution for emails, along with the average and the total number of mailings. And for events, we audit total unique attendance figures. These and a whole host of other metrics are available to media owners to support ad trading.
Data aside, as the industry-owned auditor we also audit to a range of industry standards through which media owners can demonstrate their credentials in online ad trading. This work covers areas such as brand safety and viewability.
What is the most popular genre of publications according to your findings
In our latest Consumer Magazine report (Jan – Jun 2019), the three biggest sectors (print & digital editions combined, average circulation per issue) were:
It's also interesting to take a look at the total circulated copies (Jul 2018 - Jun 2019) for each of these sectors, which give an indication as to the size of the market.
How do you predict the publishing industry will change in the next five years?
We’ve seen huge changes over many years which have been driven by technology. The only safe bet is that the industry will continue to change! It’s more striking, perhaps, to look at what doesn’t change. The demand for trust and transparency is one obvious example, for both trading data and within online ad trading.
Why do you think it is that some magazines refuse to disclose ABC information in their media packs?
Providing ABC audited data is voluntary. Our services are available to any publication regardless of size and, being an industry body, we aim to deliver excellent value for money. Reporting data through ABC is an important signal to buyers, and typically costs well under a page of advertising per year.
In what ways is there still a place for print publications?
Last year, media buyers spent £1.7 billion on print advertising in the UK alone (according to the 2018 AA/WARC Expenditure Report). This is a very significant sum and a clear indication that there is a strong appetite for the high-quality environments print offers. Publishers are constantly innovating in how they interact with their consumers and print is an important and valuable part of the advertising mix. Magnetic’s Pay Attention campaign highlights how magazines are read in an immersive way, which delivers the valued audience's attention that advertisers and agencies look for.
ABC in 'Brands'
The DIARY directory platform provides fashion, beauty and lifestyle industry news, interviews, dates, vacancies and contacts. Our huge database of contacts includes thousands of digital influencers, media titles (UK and overseas) and their editorial teams, freelance journalists and creatives, PRs and brands and representative agencies. Live and sortable social media stats for entries allow comparative analysis and insight within filtered sections, plus additional engagement metrics for industryINFLUENCERS.
Get in touch to discover how DIARY directory membership would benefit you.