Latest mag and paper stats reflect changin’ times

Nothing endures but change, and the latest newspaper and magazine stats from Nielsen and the Audit Bureau of Circulation are no exception, as the ABC changes both its methodology, and its frequency of audits. The ABC will now be sending out quarterly rolling averages, instead of the six months end-on-end averages it has been doing. The key benefits for marketers and agencies will be receiving more regular data, and the methodology of releasing rolling annual totals is aligned with readership.

The ABC has also made it optional for magazines with less than 15,000 circulation to release their figures. From now on, circulation will also be released quarterly and on a Moving Annual Total (MAT) basis, bringing this methodology in line with readership. If a magazine’s circulation is under 15000, there is an option to just release an annual number. Although whether a publisher releases title data quarterly or not, in order to be part of ABC it must externally audit its circulation claims on an annual basis.

Another change many are unaware of is the change in the definition of ‘paid’. Magazines have retained the rule that Net Paid sales of titles will only be recognised for titles sold at 50 percent and above of cover price. Newspapers have reduced this threshold to 33 percent, commencing the new process three months ago.

The change in metrics will benefit the entire industry, says John Baker, Publisher at Tangible Media, and board member of the MPA and the PMIRRG.

“This demonstrates our industry’s commitment to deliver more robust and regular information for agencies and marketers to inform their media choices. We have been working very hard over the last few years, through the PMIRRG and ABC, on both the frequency and quality of the metrics we provide. From a magazine perspective, the most encouraging thing, particularly out of CMI, is that these new metrics strengthen our case for a bigger share of overall marketing spend.”

Check out the results by clicking on the links below:

Magazine Toplines Q4 2010 – Q4 2011

Newspaper Toplines Q4 2010 – Q4 2011


The results show the market generally down across the board.  Readership numbers were volatile, and circulation flat. Although full credit must be given to NZ Life and Leisure which has somehow bucked the downwards trend and continued to show growth for the second quarter in a row.

ACP Magazines are among the few popping corks this round, Woman’s Day continues its reign as the country’s most‐read newsstand magazine with 801,000 readers. Woman’s Day actually extended its long‐held number one position in circulation in the women’s weekly category, with a jump to 107,050 Average Net Circulation, 34.5 percent ahead of rival NZ Woman’s WeeklyThe Australian Women’s Weekly also had a stand‐out performance, posting readership growth of 18,000 year on year, and claiming three consecutive annual readership increases.

Magazines M2, Good, and Ponsonby News are new editions to the group, filling the gap left by Investigate’s His & Hers. NZ Geographic had the most significant increase in readership up 60,000 to 289,000.

Newspapers were down, with a general softening across the board, The NZ Herald lost 26,000 readers on a year ago, down to 570,000.

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