A Closer Look at the Impact of Time Inc.’s Adoption of ABC’s Rapid Report
Time Inc.’s recent announcement of its intentions to fully participate in the Audit Bureau of Circulation’s (ABC) voluntary reporting system of circulation information may be a sign more publishers in the magazine industry will soon follow suit.
Instead of the usual twice-annual statements, the ABC Rapid Report service—launched in mid-2006—was designed to help quench buyers’ desires to see more regular single-issue-specific sales data. Although several major publishers—including Meredith and American Media Inc.—signed on as early adopters, Rapid Report did not see wide support from the magazine publishing community. But recent news of Time Inc.’s intentions to include all of its U.S. titles in Rapid Report by the end of the year to help meet advertisers growing requests for more precise data may be a sign of things to come.
Neal Lulofs, senior vice president, communications and strategic planning for the ABC, offers his thoughts on how the news may propel other large publishers to jump on board with the service, and why publishers of all sizes should begin preparing for the growing demand from buyers for this information.
Digital options have forced the hands of publishers to reveal more information.
“There’s been a continual drumbeat for timelier reporting of important media information for buyers. It’s gotten louder. Some [publishers] jumped in right away—like Meredith and AMI. But it certainly wasn’t broadly embraced. Clearly, I think there is some momentum behind it now with Time Inc. saying, ‘We’re all in.’
“There was a wait-and-see attitude from some publishers to see how buyers would be using this information, if they were going to use this information and in what fashion. Part of [the delay of publishers to sign on before now] honestly was to make sure the buyers were still going to take a strategic approach and not have a knee jerk reaction from issue-to-issue.”