Ask AAM: What data are you eliminating from news media reports?

June 30, 2020


As part of AAM’s initiative to modernize the audit and simplify reporting, AAM staff, publishers and buyers evaluated each data point on AAM statement by asking: why is this data here, what is it communicating and is it reflective of today’s media market? The group identified several data areas that were laborious for publishers to compile and no longer meaningful for buyers, including the 4% calculation, unique subscriber percentage, and age of source request and requested qualified circulation.


4% Calculation
When a subscription lapses, publishers frequently served copies to the consumer while they secured a renewal. The 4% calculation allowed publishers to include up to 4% of these unpaid copies as paid. As circulation revenue has grown in importance, publishers are no longer serving significant unpaid circulation while securing renewals and use of these programs has tapered off, making this metric less important.


Unique subscriber percentages
Unique subscriber percentages is calculated when publishers with multiple nonpaid affiliated publications served copies of two or more of these publications to the same subscriber. The calculation was designed to give buyers a look at the unique audience across all nonpaid products. Publishers’ businesses have changed, and they no longer serve multiple nonpaid products to the same subscriber, so the calculation is no longer meaningful.


Age of Source Request and Requested Qualified Circulation
When this category of circulation was created, there was a tremendous amount of discussion around the consumer requesting a nonpaid newspaper versus being delivered a nonpaid newspaper. Requested qualified circulation was created to recognize this different level of interest. Publishers were required to maintain records supporting the request and report data disclosing the age of the request.

Once again, changes in the way news media does business make this category of circulation and supporting documentation less meaningful. In the new report format, this circulation is reported as address specific and request documentation is no longer required.

Learn more about by the news media simplification initiative by visiting our resources hub.


Topics: Data, Ask AAM, News Media, Reporting

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