ABC Board Revises Definition of Magazine Digital Edition
PRESS RELEASE -- SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (March 16, 2010) – The board of the Audit Bureau of Circulations modified its definition of a digital magazine in the U.S. and Canada to accommodate new reading devices such as the Apple iPad. The new standards state that a replica digital edition must include a print edition’s full editorial content and advertising, but it no longer needs to be presented in a layout identical to the print version. Replica digital editions will continue to be included in a magazine’s circulation guarantee, or rate base.
The board encouraged publishers planning new e-reader editions or mobile apps to seek ABC evaluation if they would like clarification on qualification and reporting of their digital editions.
ABC confirmed that Wired magazine was the first publication to seek review of its iPad version, which will qualify as a digital replica edition under the bureau’s new guidelines. GQ has offered an ABC approved replica app for the iPhone and iPod Touch since December 2009.
“ABC’s action is good news and a timely step forward for both publishers and advertisers in advance of the iPad launch,” said Brenda White, senior vice president of publishing activation at Starcom and an ABC board member. “It’s encouraging to see magazines expanding their brands and taking advantage of new technology. It will take some time, but I’m confident that e-readers and other mobile devices are going to become important channels for marketers to engage with their audiences.”
Key Newspaper Actions
In March of 2009 the ABC board and the Newspaper Association of America formed a joint industry task force to examine the evolution of newspapers and the growing number of channels available to advertisers. Over the past year the group has examined such areas as e-readers, mobile platforms, print/digital hybrid models, e-edition definitions, and targeted print publications. Comprised of publishing and marketing executives, the task force was charged with looking at how these dynamic areas were likely to affect future advertising models and how ABC should measure, audit, and report the expanding audience data that stem from these channels.
The group’s work culminated last week in a recommendation to the ABC board, which gave its initial approval to create new U.S. reports that better reflect a newspaper’s total audience across a range of products. As a result, publishers may begin reporting such items as: