BPA Makes Rule Changes
The board voted to extend the arrears period for media owner’s international subscriptions from three to six months.
Board Actions Applying to Newspapers Only
EMEA newspaper reporting cycles. BPA was informed by newspaper publishers in Europe and the Middle East that the current reporting period of March and September does not correspond with their business cycle. Reporting for the six-month period ended June and December would be a better fit with market conditions.
The BPA board unanimously agreed to change the newspaper reporting periods in these regions.
Occasional copies/conversion. According to Canadian daily newspaper rules, publishers may serve occasional “bonus” copies and may convert lower frequency subscriptions to higher frequency plans. However, some confusion exists regarding what defines an occasional copy and a conversion copy. Occasional copies were intended to serve as one-off copies to subscribers with less-than-daily frequency. These copies are typically served on civic and statutory holidays, such as Labor Day, Easter Monday, Thanksgiving Monday.
The intent of conversion copies was to allow publishers to serve issues on a daily basis to subscribers of less-than-daily frequency in an attempt to up-sell the subscriber. Conversions to daily service typically apply to weekend-only subscribers or Saturday-only subscribers.
As a point of clarification, the board amended the rule to state occasional copies cannot be served for consecutive days. The board also voted to allow publishers to serve subscribers conversion copies in electronic format rather than print if proper advance notification and an opt-out are provided to the subscriber.
Educational copies. Newspapers served to educational institutions are reported as “Educational” copies under the heading of “Sponsored by Third Party or Free” in paragraph 1.
In the past, these copies were known as “Newspapers In Education” and were included with paid circulation. With the migration to BPA’s new daily newspaper format, these copies are no longer considered paid. In most cases, copies served to educational institutions have either been purchased directly by the institution or sponsored by a third-party. These copies must be supported by the combination of a signed agreement, invoices and proof-of-payment.