Magazine Industry Develops Set of Voluntary Guidelines to Drive Growth of Advertising on Tablets
(Press Release) New York, NY, (April 2, 2012)—The MPA, working with a coalition of senior magazine executives from throughout the industry, has developed a common set of definitions, a consistent position on timing for data release, and guidelines around tablet metrics, it was announced today by Nina Link, President and CEO, MPA, the Association of Magazine Media. These voluntary guidelines are intended to provide enhanced understanding and clarity about the measurement of magazine media audiences on tablets for the advertising community.
“The tablet guidelines have been created to recognize the need within the advertising community for greater insight and understanding into how to best leverage this powerful new platform,” said Link. “Tablets are one of the fastest-growing consumer electronic devices in history. They are ideally suited to leverage the incredible strengths of magazine media content. Tablets create a highly immersive experience for readers; a dynamic, new environment for advertisers to connect with magazine audiences; and almost unlimited opportunity for our brands.”
The recommended guidelines are the first deliverables developed by the MPA Tablet Metrics Task Force, a group of magazine executives charged with the creation of guidelines and metrics for tablets. The group has been meeting since the last quarter of 2011. The Task Force consists of representatives from seven magazine media publishers: Bonnier Corporation, Condé Nast, Forbes, Hearst Magazines, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Meredith Corporation and Time Inc. Seven advertising agencies were consulted about the guidelines as well as the MPA Executive Committee.
Among the guidelines that MPA helped advance are five initial recommended metrics for use by magazines, agencies and advertisers:
1. Total consumer paid digital issues
2. The total number of tablet readers per issue
3. The total number of sessions per issue
4. The total time spent per reader per issue
5. The average number of sessions per reader per issue
“The iPad has been around for two years, while magazine brands have been available on digital newsstands for less than a year,” said Michael Clinton, MPA Chairman and President, Marketing and Publishing Director, Hearst Magazines. “In that short period of time, magazine brands have already established a strong relationship with readers. That new experience requires new language and baseline metrics for the magazine media planning community. This initiative will enable a broader understanding of the power of tablet magazines and facilitate faster adoption of tablet advertising.”
“This initiative and the increased transparency it provides will enable Ford and our agency partners to better leverage our marketing dollars in this growing consumer media platform,” said Matt VanDyke, Director, Marketing Communications U.S., Ford Motor Company
The Task Force also created an initial set of terms and definitions that provide advertisers and publishers with a suggested common language.
Link also announced voluntary time frames for the release of tablet metrics. For monthlies, the MPA Tablet Metrics Task Force recommends the release of metrics data in 10 weeks from the newsstand on-sale date. For weeklies, the Task Force suggests the release of metrics data in seven weeks from the newsstand on-sale date. The time frames provide a four-week window for the extended capture of metrics as well as a two-week period of data analysis.
“This voluntary release timing is the most accurate method we have of capturing the incredible engagement that readers have with their tablet issues,” said Link. “Our research tells us that magazine readers continue to engage with their tablet issues as long as a month or more after the on-sale date of the publication and we need data that reflect this engagement. As we learn more about the reader experience, we expect to be able to shorten the reporting time frame.”
Link added, “These voluntary guidelines are an exciting first step in an evolving process and they will continue to be refined and revisited by the MPA Tablet Metrics Task Force.”