Ask AAM: How is ZIP code filing changing?

June 30, 2020


As AAM explored ways to save publishers time and streamline reporting, one of the obvious areas was data filing. Under current AAM guidelines, publishers file full data sets every quarter. Under the new guidelines, U.S. news media will continue to file quarterly ZIP code data but other data elements will only be reported on twice-yearly publisher’s statements. In addition, circulation will now be reported by paid, qualified and total for each ZIP code.

And within ZIP code filing, AAM found ways to reduce publisher workload by expanding a program previously offered to community newspapers. Now, instead of filing actual ZIP code data every quarter, publishers will have the option of prorating the data based on an actual quarter. Publishers will provide a few top-line circulation numbers and AAM’s system projects that circulation out over the newspaper’s ZIP codes based on previously reported actual data.

For example, if a publisher reports 100,000 circulation across 20 ZIP codes for Q1 but 103,000 circulation across those same 20 ZIP codes for Q2, AAM’s system will calculate the distribution of the additional 3,000 circulation so that publishers don’t need to key actual data for every ZIP code and category. Publishers will continue to report actual ZIP code data at least once every two years. During this two-year period, publishers will now supply actual ZIP code data just once and top-line data the other seven times with AAM projecting the distribution.

To learn more about why preserving ZIP code reporting was important for buyers, read NSA Media’s point-of-view article. You can learn more about the news media simplification initiative by visiting our resource hub.


Topics: Ask AAM, News Media, Reporting

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