ABC Loosens Paid Circ Rules for Digital Editions
The Audit Bureau of Circulations, recognizing that digital editions have become more complex products since the early days of PDF replicas, has modified its requirements to make it easier for digital versions of publications to be credited toward rate base.
U.S. and Canadian publishers can now count digital products as replica editions even if advertising differs from print to digital. Editorial content and photography must still be identical.
"... with today's advanced publishing software for tablet devices like the iPad, the environment is far richer and more complex," ABC President Mike Lavery said in a statement. "Even static print ads often require reformatting for digital publication. These production requirements can put a burden on the deadline-driven communication between client, agency, and publisher to ultimately determine the advertiser's wishes, especially for fractional and classified buys. The new parameters simplify the process, make the advertiser's intent clear, and streamline the audit requirements."
Publishers are also no longer required to receive opt-out confirmation from advertisers who do not wish to have ads run in digital editions or are unable to submit reformatted digital files in time to run in those editions.
Business publications no longer need to require a personal identification question for re-qualifying subscribers, as long as the subscriber is required to provide a unique name and password.
In another recognition of changing times in the digital era, the board voted to broaden standards for weekly newspaper membership in the U.S. and Canada, now allowing papers with 50 percent paid circulation to join ABC (down from a minimum of 70 percent). Daily newspapers in the U.S. must still have at least 70 percent paid circulation.