Magazine Groups Help Give Metrics a Digital Update

As industry changes increasingly turn print magazines into iPad and mobile endeavors, magazine and advertising groups joined forces with Adobe to help create standards that work well with the new formats.

Reading a magazine on an iPad holds a lot of advantages to reading one in paper form.

But there’s one problem—on an tablet, ads simply work differently and are harder to track. But, on the other hand, there’s more room to directly track engagement metrics. Fortunately, a number of industry groups—including the Association of Magazine Media (MPA) and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As)—huddled with Adobe to come up with a working solution for all. More details:

A high-tech partner: Adobe is the most-recognized company in the space (its InDesign platform has included digital publishing capabilities in recent years). The industry groups worked closely with the company, who they see as a natural partner. “The team at Adobe was the logical choice with which to work on this initial phase of the standardization of MPA’s metrics,” Ethan Grey, MPA’s SVP of Digital Strategy and Initiatives, explained in a press release. “This latest DPS [Adobe Digital Publishing Suite] release is a perfect first step in our goal to provide advertisers with meaningful measurements. We look forward to test driving this new model and rolling it out over the months to come.”

The process: While the tech company played a role in making the work a reality, the associations played a significant role themselves—by helping to figure out the metrics that made the most sense. Among the things the groups focused on, according to the printing industry publication WhatTheyThink?, was data that was understandable, transparent, scalable, and consistent. To correspond with this, Adobe’s DPS will now include a menu with a list of relevant metrics for publishers—including accumulated readers (the number of unique readers of an issue), accumulated sessions (the number of reads of an issue), accumulated time spent per reader, and accumulated sessions per reader.

Explaining the metrics: To help its audience grasp how these changes will work for them, the MPA has launched a Tablet Metrics page that defines specific industry terminology as well as various time-frames used.

The new system will be audited by the Alliance for Audited Media (formerly the Audit Bureau of Circulations), which has performed a similar service for print products for generations.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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