March 16, 2010
The Audit Bureau of Circulations today released new
guidelines for what counts towards “paid and verified” magazine circulation –
including how to account for digital magazines. In its news release and digital circulation
guidelines, ABC notes that the digital
edition of WIRED will be included in the
magazine’s total “paid and verified” circulation.
Specifically, the ABC notes that digital magazines like
WIRED will count towards a “Digital Edition – Replica” category that is
subsequently included in total circulation. This replica category comprises digital magazines that
represent the full editorial and advertising content of the publication. No longer, however, does the content
have to be presented in exactly the
same layout as in print.
Okay… so what does this mean? Well, it has implications for publishers, readers, and
The new guidelines mean publishers
can include digital copies in the rate base circulation figures they guarantee
to advertisers. With this
inclusion, magazines can (1) more accurately represent the reach they deliver
to advertisers and (2) capture that value through increased CPM rates.
For readers, it
means an even more engaging digital magazine experience. Magazine publishers will increasingly
make more content available in immersive, interactive digital formats because
they are able to attract advertisers to it.
are able to audit the number of readers publications connect with on
emerging tablet/smartphone devices. This means advertisers can count on digital platforms to deliver reach. The promise of digital is not only to
deliver reach though, but also engagement. With the new interactive advertising formats
applications like WIRED offer, advertisers are able to involve readers directly
at a deeper level – without leaving the magazine content experience.