How to Use AAM Information to Evaluate U.S. Newspapers

How to Use AAM
Information to Evaluate
U.S. Newspapers
Introduction
The Alliance for Audited Media (previously the Audit Bureau
of Circulations) has audited newspapers since its inception
in 1914. As publications increasingly become multi-platform
brands, AAM continues to develop new products and services to meet its members’ needs. Consolidated Media Reports,
for example, present circulation, website traffic and other
auditable media. This gives potential advertisers a comprehensive way to look at a brand.
This booklet provides an overview of available reports for
U.S. newspapers: publisher’s statements, Snapshot (formerly
FAS-FAX) reports and audit reports.
Table of Contents
Sources of Data................................................................2
Reports at a Glance.........................................................5
Paragraph Contents.........................................................6
Map.................................................................................15
Glossary..........................................................................16
Additional Audit Services...............................................19
Media Intelligence Center..............................................20
auditedmedia.com
How to Use AAM Information to Evaluate U.S. Newspapers
Sources of Data
Publisher’s Statements
Subject to Audit
All publisher members are required
to report their circulation on an AAM
publisher’s statement. For newspaper
members, this is represented on a
yellow statement. Publishers file their
circulation claims with AAM for the
six-month periods ending on March 31
and September 30. Statement data is
subject to audit.
AAM’s Technical Review and Report Processing (TRRP) department
reviews each statement for errors
and omissions in the stated circulation figures. Corrections are made
as necessary and AAM then releases
the publisher’s statement in its Media
Intelligence Center. A PDF is also provided to the publisher for print reproduction purposes.
Daily newspapers have 15 days after
the period ends to file their statements
with AAM, while weekly and community newspapers have 20 days.
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Sources of Data
Snapshot Reports (formerly FAS-FAX)
Immediately following the filing deadline of publisher’s
statements, AAM compiles a summary of the preliminary
data from all newspaper publisher’s statements received.
A summary report called Snapshot is then released both
in print and digitally to the membership.
This report lists top-line circulation information side by
side in alphabetical order by publication name. These
reports are issued twice a year for the March 31 and
September 30 six-month reporting periods. Snapshot is widely referenced by media buyers and sellers as a quick and current summary of circulation trends
and changes.
The print version of Snapshot incorporates line items
for day-of-week reporting frequencies. However, it does
not reflect information for each day of the week. It only
reflects averages for:
•Sunday
• Monday through Friday combined
•Saturday
If the newspaper is an active participant in Audience
Snapshot, data will include:
• Past 7-day print readership
• Past 7-day print readership reach
• Past 30-day online readership
• Past 30-day net combined print and online readership
• Total unique users of a newspaper’s website
All data will be listed by DMA and readership NDM if
available. For specific sourcing information, please refer
to the newspapers’ individual publisher’s statements.
How to Use AAM Information to Evaluate U.S. Newspapers
Total Average Circulation is broken out and includes:
• Total average circulation (paid and verified) for the
period
• Total circulation excluding branded editions
– Print
– Digital Replica
– Digital Nonreplica
– Total
• Branded editions
The digital version of Snapshot contains the same elements while providing expanded information, including
total average circulation for each day of the week separately.
AAM buyer and seller members may access the Snapshot Analyzer, an online tool that provides expanded
detail from paragraph 1 that includes paid and verified
circulation for print, digital and branded editions. See
page 7 for more on Paragraph 1 information.
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Sources of Data
Audit Reports
A circulation audit is an in-depth
examination of a publication’s circulation claims. It involves independent,
third-party verification of a publisher’s
records and recordkeeping systems.
AAM conducts audits for newspapers,
magazines, business and farm publications, and digital media in North
America.
AAM then issues an audit report on
an annual or every-other-year basis
to validate circulation claims. An AAM
audit report is a standard document
that reviews the objective findings of
AAM’s audit of a publication’s circulation. Audit reports verify the information reported in publisher’s statements
filed for the same period.
If an auditor reports any deviations
greater than 3 percent, these are published in a bulletin issued to all
AAM members.
All variances between claims made
in the publisher’s statement and the
auditor’s findings are noted in the
audit report.
How is a circulation audit conducted?
While each audit is based on individual circumstances, AAM auditors generally examine the following items
(not all-inclusive) during a newspaper audit:
• Circulation ledgers showing totals for each issue by circulation type (i.e. home delivery, single-copy sales,
mail subscriptions and the various categories of verified circulation).
• Publisher records verifying geographic distribution broken out by counties, towns and/or ZIP or
postal code receiving more than 25 copies.
• Analysis of subscriber records, including payment and term received.
• Subscription and single-copy prices, including changes that occurred during the audit period.
• Return policies and percentages of leftover, undelivered or unsold copies by geographic area.
• Carrier and dealer records, including billings, contest, credits and payments.
• Promotion files detailing direct marketing campaigns, radio and television promotions and
telemarketing efforts to verify validity of reduced-price offers and premium offers.
• Requestor files for verified home delivery-requested circulation programs.
• Any facts required to verify additional circulation information.
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Reports at a Glance
Publisher’s Statements and Audit Reports
Executive Summary – Totals print, digital replica and
digital nonreplica, and branded editions for total average
circulation. Day-of-week averages are broken out for
newspapers with total average circulation of 50,000 or
greater. Separate averages for the member newspaper,
digital editions and branded editions are itemized.
Paragraph 1A – Expanded circulation details are provided for only the member newspaper’s print circulation,
which includes individually paid, business/traveler and
verified circulation figures.
Paragraph 1B – Expanded circulation details are provided for the member newspaper’s digital replica circulation that includes paid and verified circulation figures.
Paragraph 1C – Expanded circulation details are provided for the member newspaper’s digital nonreplica
circulation that includes individually paid and verified
circulation figures.
Paragraph 1D – Expanded circulation details are pro-
vided for each branded edition’s print circulation that
includes individually paid, business/traveler and verified
circulation figures.
Separate reporting of branded editions is not required if the
circulation of those editions is less than 3 percent of the total
average circulation or less than 2,000 copies.
Paragraph 1E – Expanded circulation details are provided for each branded edition’s digital circulation that
includes individually paid, business/traveler and verified
circulation figures.
Paragraph 2 – Total average circulation by market is
optional. If publishers establish different annual basic
prices by market, then reporting by geographic area in
paragraph 2 is required.
Audit Reports Only
Audit Statement – The audit statement reports any
variance between the audit report and the publisher’s
statement for the same period.
Paragraph 2A – Average circulation by quarters.
Paragraph 3 – County analysis: actual one-day gross
distribution and average projected circulation averages
by county. (Required)
Paragraph 3A – Town analysis: Distribution in towns
receiving 25 or more copies in detail by counties, as well
as the total only for towns receiving less than 25 copies
daily. (Optional)
Paragraph 3B – ZIP code analysis: Distribution by ZIP
codes receiving 25 or more copies. (Required)
Publisher’s Statements and Audit Reports
Paragraph 4 – Basic prices: Annual basic prices must
be established for home-delivery subscriptions and
single copy. A newspaper can establish a different annual
basic price for digital editions.
Paragraph 5 – Analyses of home delivery and mail
individually paid circulation by price category: Required
if more than 5 percent of a newspaper’s subscription circulation falls into the less than 25 percent of basic price
category.
How to Use AAM Information to Evaluate U.S. Newspapers
Paragraph 6 – Explanatory: Describes details regarding
newspaper editions, omitted days, average unpaid
distribution, returned copies, etc.
Paragraph 6A – Audience Snapshot
explanatory: Provides details for the Audience
Snapshot program if a U.S. daily newspaper
participates.
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Paragraph Contents
Report Masthead
The official name of the primary publication
is shown at the top of Publisher’s Statements and Audit Reports. The publication
may include their URL and a graphic of its
official title as a heading on the front page.
Executive Summary
Total Average Circulation
Paragraph 1 describes the average circulation for the period covered by the report.
This includes the average of all copies sold
at one cent or more, net of all other considerations that comply with AAM rules, guidelines and policies, and verified circulation.
Circulation averages are broken out for each
day of the week for newspapers with an average paid circulation of 50,000 or greater.
In addition, this paragraph itemizes separate
circulation averages for the member newspaper, digital editions and branded editions.
The total consumer accounts metric appears
in the executive summary. This represents
the number of unduplicated individual accounts resulting from consumers’ unique
sales transactions. This represents a net
subscriber number and is mandatory for all
U.S daily newspaper members, except for
those in the community newspaper program.
An optional supplemental executive summary may be included to show a total print
number for the member newspaper and its
branded editions.
Newspapers with less than 50,000 circulation may optionally report
day-of-week averages unless one day varies by 15 percent. In this
case, the newspaper is required to report day-of-week breakouts.
Disclosure of Day-of-Week Circulation Data
Required Circulation
• Sunday • Each weekday separately
• Monday-Friday combined average
Optional
• Monday-Saturday combined average
• Combination of any other days of the week, excluding Sunday
(often referred to as “power days”)
• Any optional average is additive to the required elements. If an optional
average is reported in any of the publisher’s statements of the audit period,
the audit report will include the optional average for the entire audit period,
including those periods where no optional average was reported.
Circulation Categories
Digital Replica Editions
Digital Nonreplica Editions
Branded Editions
Represent newspapers available in:
Digital format that contains all Digital format whose name is
editorial and ROP advertising the same as that under which
content
AAM membership is held
Print and digital editions
that reflect a different name
than that under which AAM
membership is held
May also contain:
Additional editorial and advertising (freestanding inserts
are not required)
Different editorial or advertising
from the print version
Audience-focused newspapers, alternate language or
community newspapers
Reported by:
Delivery type (subscriptions,
single copy)
Platform (e.g., URL, e-readers,
mobile devices)
Same as member newspaper
Other:
Must have restricted access
Must have restricted access
Separate reporting is not
required if the circulation for
those editions is less than 3
percent of the total average
circulation or less than 2,000
copies per issue
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Paragraph Contents
The Audience Snapshot banner contains audience data for
U.S. daily newspaper participants.
The publishing plans box contains detailed descriptions of
the primary member newspaper and its branded editions.
Paragraph 1A
Paragraph 1A provides expanded details for
the member newspaper’s print edition.
Individually paid circulation includes all
copies paid for by consumer for at least
one cent.
The total average paid and verified circulation print number will reconcile with the
total print number on page one of the
executive summary.
Individually paid circulation: Copies requested and paid for by individual consumers for at least one cent, net of all considerations. Standard distribution
types include:
Home delivery and mail: Copies delivered to address-specific locations paid for by individuals.
Joint distribution: Home-delivered copies distributed to another AAM member’s subscribers on no more than two days when the host newspaper is not
published.
Single-copy sales are copies purchased by individuals at retail outlets, including vending machines, rack and hawker sales.
Business/traveler paid circulation: Copies distributed in hotels to guests and/or by a business to their employees.
Group subscriptions (designated employees): Subscriptions purchased by businesses for at least one cent, specifically for two or more designated
employees (known by name and/or title).
Hotel Distribution - Guest Refund: Newspapers that are purchased by hotels and included in guests’ room charges. May be declined for a refund/credit.
Hotel Distribution - Room/Lobby Copies: Newspapers that have been purchased by the hotel for at least one cent per copy and are free to guests in
public areas or delivered to guest rooms.
Verified Circulation: Newspapers that are available for use by individual consumers and are nonpaid or paid for by someone other than the individual.
There are five subclasses of verified circulation:
Home Delivery - Requested: Subscriptions requested by individuals for delivery to their residence for a term of no less than 12 weeks.
Home Delivery - Targeted: Nonrequested subscriptions or single issues delivered to individual residences for less than 12 weeks.
Education Copies: Requested by schools for student use in the classroom or by colleges or universities for distribution to registered students.
University Copies: Copies requested by colleges or universities for distribution to registered students in a campus setting via
limited-access areas.
Employees: Copies provided to employees and agents of the newspaper as a benefit of employment.
Retail/Business: Copies ordered by businesses (e.g., restaurants, airlines, doctor’s offices) for recurring distribution to patrons.
How to Use AAM Information to Evaluate U.S. Newspapers
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Paragraph Contents
Paragraph 1B and 1C
Paragraph 1B provides expanded detail
for the member newspaper’s digital replica
editions.
Paragraph 1C provides expanded detail for
the member newspaper’s digital nonreplica
editions. All digital nonreplica copies must
be reported by platform (e.g., e-reader,
mobile, website, tablet)
Circulation for digital replica and nonreplica editions is included in total average
circulation on page one – the executive
summary.
Public access websites are not
eligible as circulation units.
Paragraphs 1D, 1E, etc.
These paragraphs include expanded detail
for the member newspaper’s branded editions. Each branded edition is broken out
separately by the categories of paid, business/traveler and verified circulation.
Digital replica and nonreplica copies are
also reported for each branded edition.
Each branded edition is reported as its
own line item on page one in the executive
summary.
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Paragraph Contents
Paragraph 2 — Optional
Total Circulation By Market
Paragraph 2 is optional and details total
average circulation by AAM-defined geographic zone. If publishers establish different annual basic prices by market, then
reporting by geographic area is required.
Typical AAM-defined market zones include
one of the following groups:
• City Zone (CZ), Retail Trading Zone (RTZ), All Other
• Newspaper Designated Market (NDM), Outside Newspaper Designated Market (ONDM)
• County of publication, balance in NDM, circulation ONDM.
If a publisher files paragraph 2 data, a map
detailing market zones is provided. See
page 15 for a sample map.
Paragraph 2 analysis is for the member
newspaper’s print circulation only. Publishers also have the option to report the print
circulation of the member newspaper and
its branded editions.
AUDIT REPORTS ONLY
Reported in paragraph 2, the audit statement
reports any variance between the audit report
and the publisher’s statements for the same
period.
Total average circulation by quarters reports
the total average circulation for each quarter
within the reporting period.
The quarterly figures include circulation
for the member newspaper and any
branded editions.
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Paragraph Contents
Paragraph 3
AUDIT REPORTS ONLY
Paragraph 3 includes data for the member newspaper and all branded editions. It
provides an analysis for a single Monday to
Friday date and one Sunday date (if published) during the audit period. At minimum,
this paragraph reports the gross distribution
for one daily date and one Sunday issue (if
applicable).
County and ZIP code reporting is required
for all U.S. newspapers, while reporting by
town is optional.
Figures in this paragraph typically represent
“gross distribution,” which includes total
copies (including returns).
Newspapers have three options for reporting geographic level data for the member
newspaper and branded editions:
• Paid, verified, digital editions, branded
editions, total
• Individually paid, business/traveler,
verified, digital editions, branded editions, total
• Home delivery, single copy, business/
traveler, verified, digital editions,
branded editions, total
Digital replica and digital nonreplica circulation will not be reported by county, ZIP code
or town and instead will be reported as
separate line items.
AAM is responsible for the preparation of
the “occupied household” estimates, “average projected circulation” and “household”
statistics.
If two newspapers are published in
the same city and compete in the
same market, they must reference
the same day to compile paragraph
3 data.
Average Projected Circulation
A column of statistics referred to as average projected circulation is a
projection of the averages from paragraph 1 to the appropriate AAMdefined geographic market’s one day(s) gross distribution figures. It is
designed to give the user an idea of the net circulation in the reported
county, town and ZIP code on an average day.
The average projected circulation is calculated using:
• The average for the day of week selected
• The Monday to Friday average
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Paragraph Contents
Paragraph 3 – County Analysis
This data must be reported by all AAM-newspaper members.
Newspaper personnel are required to prepare a county analysis
for each analyzed date that includes actual gross distribution in
total for:
• Each county receiving 25 copies or more in ascending
alphabetical order (within each state)
• Counties receiving fewer than 25 copies (the distribution is
combined under the heading “miscellaneous counties”)
• States receiving fewer than 25 copies (the distribution is
combined under the heading “miscellaneous - all other
states”)
•Total
How does AAM adjust these figures?
Figures used as the basis for paragraph 3 are
gross distribution for the day(s) indicated and
usually include some leftover and unsold copies.
AAM adjusts these gross figures back to the total
average circulation shown in paragraphs 1 and
1A to provide an estimate of the number of copies that were paid.
[For counties: If paragraph 2 data is reported,
AAM creates a different percentage for each
zonal area in which the newspaper reports its
circulation. Zones often include portions of towns
and counties and AAM must apply the appropriate percentages to each. ]
Paragraph 3A – Town Analysis
This data is optional.
If the newspaper opts to report a town analysis, then newspaper personnel are required to prepare analyses for each analyzed date. Actual gross distribution in total for:
• Each town receiving 25 copies or more in ascending
alphabetical order (within each county and state)
• Towns receiving less than 25 copies (the distribution is shown under the heading “balance in county”)
• A summary that recaps the total gross distribution in
each state
•Total
Paragraph 3B – ZIP Code Analysis
This data must be reported by all AAM-newspaper members.
Paragraph 3 contains a breakout of circulation by ZIP code.
The publication chooses the date(s) used for this analysis, but
the date(s) must represent the audit period. Newspaper personnel are required to prepare a ZIP code analysis for each
analyzed date that includes gross distribution in total for:
• Each ZIP code receiving 25 or more copies on the paragraph 3 date(s)
• ZIP codes recceiving fewer than 25 copies (the distribution is
included in a “miscellaneous ZIP codes” line item)
• Total for each column
AUDIT REPORTS ONLY
Paragraph 3B contains a breakout of circulation by U.S. ZIP codes.
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Paragraph Contents
Paragraph 4 – Basic Prices
Basic price is defined as the price at which
the publication may be purchased by anyone at any time.
Annual basic prices must be established for
each distribution method, including mail,
home delivery and single copy. These prices
are determined by the publisher and may be
changed at the publisher’s discretion provided notification is made to AAM.
A newspaper can establish a separate
basic price for digital editions.
Paragraph 5 – Analysis of Home
Delivery and Mail Individually Paid
Circulation by Price Category
If more than 5 percent of the member newspaper’s home delivery and mail circulation is
sold at less than 25 percent of basic price,
then price point reporting is required.
This information is not included on the Audit
Report. It is reported in AAM’s Media Intelligence Center.
What is the 4 percent allowance?
AAM allows a total of 4 percent of the total pay-in-office subscription base
for the aggregate of new credit subscriptions canceled for nonpayment.
This also includes subscribers served short-term arrears (post-expiration
copies) who paid at least one cent for the term of the offer for carrier delivery
office collect system and pay-in-office subscribers. Post-expiration copies
served beyond 90 days from the date they expire do not qualify for inclusion
and therefore are not included in paid circulation.
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Paragraph Contents
Paragraph 6 – Explanatory
This is the explanatory paragraph that provides additional detail regarding the circulation reported.
Standard Reporting
• If circulation is claimed for digital
editions, this paragraph will describe
these editions, including advertising
policy and format.
•
Percentages of copies returned,
undelivered, left over or unsold are
reported for each day.
•
Unpaid circulation details are included for each day of the week separately and Monday through Friday combined, plus Saturday and Sunday averages.
• Regular publishing days on which no
paper was issued identifies all days when the newspaper was not printed or
distributed.
•
Average unpaid distribution reports the
average unpaid distribution for each
applicable publishing cycle during the
statement period.
•
A newspaper can omit a maximum of
10 days from circulation averages per
12-month audit period, provided the net
paid circulation varies by 5 percent or
more for the previous corresponding day. A detailed list will appear here.
A newspaper reporting branded edition
circulation may omit certain days of the primary newspaper or any branded editions. The omission of any day(s) for a branded edition is included as one of the maximum of 10 days
allowed.
How to Use AAM Information to Evaluate U.S. Newspapers
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Paragraph Contents
Paragraph 6A
This paragraph provides details for the
Audience Snapshot program. Only U.S.
daily newspapers are permitted to participate in this optional service.
The Newspaper Designated Market (NDM*)
for readership is a geographic area selected by the newspaper. It must encompass
at least 75 percent of the total paid circulation.
The website supplier is chosen by the
publisher and audited by AAM.
Paragraph 6A of audit reports includes
any adjustments from the publisher’s
statement figures.
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A map detailing market zones is provided if a publisher files paragraph 2.
If paragraph 2 is not filed, then a map of ZIP code boundaries is provided.
How to Use AAM Information to Evaluate U.S. Newspapers
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Glossary
AAM’s standards and policies depend on a common understanding of terms used in the newspaper industry.
Through auditing practices and its bylaws and rules, AAM has established definitions for many of the terms
used in circulation accounting.
For additional information, refer to AAM’s bylaws and rules or visit auditedmedia.com.
Advertiser and/or advertising agency copies – Copies of a publication given to companies advertising in the
publication (one copy per advertiser) for verifying advertisements. Also known as a checking copy.
City Zone (CZ) – An area comprised of the city or community in which the newspaper is published. Contiguous
areas may be included to the extent they have substantially
the same built-up characteristics as the city.
All other – A phrase used specifically in newspaper
reports to designate all circulation not included in the City
and Retail Trading Zones (CZ or RTZ) or Newspaper Designated Market (NDM) categories.
Combination sales – Subscriptions to two or more
different publications sold at a special combined price.
Annual basic price – The price at which the publication
may be purchased by anyone at any time.
Arrears – Subscriptions retained on active subscription
lists after expiration.
Audit – Examination of a publisher’s circulation records
and corroborative data to check for correctness in the
publisher’s statements covering the period audited.
Audit report – Official document issued by AAM that details its findings as a result of a third-party verification.
Average frequency – The average number of issues read
either in the past five days (Monday through Friday) or four
Sunday issues in a Reader Profile Study Area (RPSA). Average frequency estimates can be found in AAM’s Reader
Profile reports.
Average projected circulation – A projection of the averages from paragraph 1 to the appropriate AAM-defined
geographic market’s one day(s) gross distribution figures.
See page 10 for further explanation.
Complimentary copies – Copies given away as a
courtesy.
Core-based statistical area (CBSA) – A geographic area
based around an urban center of at least 10,000 people
and fewer than 50,000 that are used commonly by advertisers for marketing purposes. Newspapers can show their
circulation by CBSA in Audit Reports.
Counter sales – Newspapers sold over the publisher’s
counter to individual purchasers. If sold in quantities of 11
or more, such copies are allocated to third-party sales.
Credit subscriptions – A subscription for which payment
is not made at time of order.
Days omitted from averages – Newspapers may exclude from its averages those publishing days in which the
net sales varied from “normal” net sales by at least 5 percent. The set limit is a maximum of 10 days per audit year.
Distribution – The total number of copies distributed per
issue whether paid, nonpaid or unpaid.
Branded edition – Edition of the newspaper that displays
a different name from the member newspaper.
Distributor – A general term applied to carriers, dealers,
street vendors and all others who sell publications as a vocation. This term also covers middlemen who resell newspapers to carriers, dealers, street vendors and all others.
Call-at-office subscribers – Subscribers who obtain
their copies at the office of publication.
Draw – Number of copies of a publication charged to
dealer, carrier or another distributor.
Carrier – An individual engaged in delivery of
newspapers.
How to Use AAM Information to Evaluate U.S. Newspapers
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Glossary
Digital edition – Defined as the digital version of the member newspaper. There are two types:
• Replica has same basic identity, content and authorized
ROP advertising as core newspaper.
• Nonreplica also has the same basic identity as the member newspaper but the content, advertising and format may
differ.
Education copies – Newspaper copies that are ordered for
delivery to schools, either purchased individually from class
funds or by specific sponsors.
Employee copies – Copies given to employees of the
newspaper.
Exchanges – Free copies sent by a publication to other
publications in mutual courtesy.
Expiration – End of a period for which a subscription was
paid.
Extension – Extending of a subscription beyond its original
date because of lowering of subscription price or reducing
the frequency of issue.
Hotel distribution – Copies that are purchased by a
hotel and made available to guests. “Guest refund” copies
are copies paid for by the hotel but made available to the
consumer as part of hotel room charges. However, a refund
must be offered during the registration process.
Mail subscription – Subscriptions served by mail and qualifying under AAM rules.
Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) – Area established by
the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and commonly
used by advertisers for marketing purposes. Newspapers
can show their circulation by MSAs in their AAM reports.
Motor route – Delivery of single copies by means of motor
transport to subscribers.
Net of all considerations – This means that the purchaser
must pay the required price for the newspapers and, where
applicable, the recognized retail value of any other good or
service that was an influencing factor in the decision to buy
the newspapers.
Net press run – Total printed copies suitable for distribution.
Extra – Edition of a newspaper other than those issued
regularly each day.
News agent – A distributor of newspapers or periodicals at
wholesale.
Event sales – Event sales are situations where newspaper
sales are tied directly to an event admission of a specific
duration. Paragraphs 6A and 6B provide details.
Newsdealer – A merchant with a fixed place of business
who buys publications to sell again at retail.
Four percent policy – AAM allows a total of 4 percent of
the total pay-in-office subscription base for the aggregate
of new credit subscriptions canceled for nonpayment. See
page 12 for further explanation.
FSI (freestanding insert) – Advertisements that are printed
separately from the publication and inserted for distribution.
These inserts are often provided to the newspaper directly
from the advertiser.
Group (subscriptions to businesses for designated employees) – All copies or subscriptions purchased in quantities of two or more by corporations, institutions or individuals
for employees, subsidiary companies or branches.
Home delivery – Any newspaper that is delivered by carrier
motor route to addresses.
How to Use AAM Information to Evaluate U.S. Newspapers
Newspaper Designated Market (NDM) – The core market
area that a publication serves. It is defined by the publisher,
but AAM has established three parameters:
1) The NDM must be defined by census geography such
as block groups or counties (ZIP codes do not comply)
2) The NDM area must be contiguous
3) There must be some established relationship between
circulation distribution in the area and the NDM.
Newspapers distributed together – A newspaper with
less frequency than daily and Sunday may include copies of
another newspaper in its subscription term on one day only,
rather than on multiple days.
Nonpaid newspapers – Free newspapers that are delivered
by hand or via mail to designated households for market coverage. Total nonpaid circulation and average controlled circulation to individuals and public access, such as bulk drops
and racks, can be issued as a separate report by AAM.
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Glossary
Nonreturnable – Not subject to credit on being returned.
A sales plan in which dealers or other distributors purchase
their copies with the understanding that they must pay for all
copies purchased, whether or not they sell them.
Sample copies – Copies distributed free to prospective
subscribers or prospective advertisers. Copies delivered
as part of contractual arrangement cannot be counted as
sample copies.
Paid circulation – For U.S. newspapers, copies sold for at
least one cent, net of all considerations.
Short-term subscription – Subscription term of less than
a year.
Premium – Any item, except periodicals, offered to a
subscriber either free or at a price with a subscription either
directly or by an agent.
Split-period audit – Audit covering a period other than that
covered by the regular publisher’s statement.
Publisher’s interim statement – Statement of circulation
claims covering a three month ending period made to AAM
at the publisher’s option. Issued unaudited but subject to
audit by AAM.
Publisher’s statement – Statement of circulation claims
covering a six month ending period made to AAM by a
publisher member. Issued unaudited but subject to audit by
AAM.
Rack sales – Sales of newspapers from racks or boxes
placed on street corners or other convenient points with the
customer depositing coins in payment in a box provided for
that purpose. Same as “box” or “honor box” sales.
Replate – A change of one or more pages during the print of
an edition or issue of a publication. This procedure generally
serves the purpose of adding late news items or correcting
an error in the original copy.
Retail Trading Zone (RTZ) – An area beyond the established City Zone (CZ) whose residents regularly shop at retail
merchants located in the CZ.
Returnable – Copies of publication sold to distributors under agreement to take back those unsold.
• Fully returnable means all copies sold to any and all
distributors may be returned if unsold.
• Limited returnable is used in two senses. First, when
a part of the distribution is sold on a returnable basis
and part on a nonreturnable basis; second, when
distributors are allowed the return privilege but only of
a certain percentage of the quantity purchased.
Returns – Copies returned to the publisher by a dealer or
other distributor for credit. Frequently, to save transportation
charges, only newspaper headings (banners or mastheads)
or covers are returned, not complete copies.
Run-of-press (ROP) – Advertisements that are part of the
printed version of the newspaper.
How to Use AAM Information to Evaluate U.S. Newspapers
Split run – The insertion or substitution of different advertising content for a portion of the distribution of an edition or of
an issue for either a newspaper or a periodical.
Street sales – Newspapers sold by individuals on the street
(“hawkers”) or through racks, as distributed from those sold
by dealers with permanent shops or by a carrier with a regular list of customers.
Subscription agency – An individual firm or corporation
obtaining subscriptions for two or more publications.
Supplement – A compilation of syndicated and/or locally
edited features, news items or editorial comment and advertising distributed as a separate section of a newspaper.
Supplemental Data Report (SDR) – Subject to an AAM
audit, these reports include data not included in the publisher’s statement or audit report. They can supply analyses of
county distribution or demographics and pass-along receivership figures as well as a newspaper’s nonpaid circulation,
electronic or unique edition distribution.
Total average circulation – Average circulation of all the
issues in a frequency, arrived at by dividing the total circulation of all the issues of the frequency during the period by the
total number of issues.
Total consumer accounts – A metric that represents the
number of unduplicated individual accounts resulting from
consumers’ unique sales transactions. This metric appears
in the executive summary of AAM reports for all U.S. daily
newspaper members.
University copies – Copies requested by colleges or universities for distribution to registered students in a campus
setting via limited-access areas.
Unpaid copies – Copies distributed either entirely free or at
a price inadequate to qualify as paid according to AAM rules.
Verified circulation – Newspaper copies that are available
for individual consumers that are either nonpaid or paid by
someone other than the individual.
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Additional Audit Services
The Consolidated Media Report is
AAM’s customizable report that allows
publisher members to present advertisers with a snapshot of their entire media
footprint across multiple products and
channels. All products included on the
report must be owned/operated by an
AAM member.
Below are a few examples of what can
be included in a CMR:
• Paid and nonpaid circulation
• Print readership
• Digital replica and nonreplica editions • Online readership
• Website traffic
• Text alerts
• Email newsletter distribution • Mobile distribution
AAM staff will work with you to test the
reporting and auditing of any product
you wish to include on the report.
AAM’s Insert Verification Service is for
newspapers that wish to measure and
market the accuracy of their freestanding
insert (FSI) distribution processes. Although this service is optional, it is recommended that all major metro newspapers
participate. AAM’s Insert Verification
Service consists of a quantitative review
of a newspaper’s insert practices. AAM
auditors identify specific single-copy and
home-delivery routes to be included in
the test. The insert verification may be
conducted separately from a newspaper’s
annual AAM circulation audit.
AAM’s digital services deliver reliable, independent, third-party audits
and industry-developed standards for
website activity, email newsletter audits,
mobile media audits, digital technology
accreditation programs. Interactive audit
reports help media buyers make smart,
objective decisions.
Audience Snapshot answers advertisers’ needs for measurement data that reflects
newspapers’ full reach and audience. Audience Snapshot is available for U.S. daily
newspapers and integrates newspaper readership, online audience and website activity
data on AAM reports. All audience and website data in Audience Snapshot is independently audited by AAM and reported in AAM publisher’s statements, audit reports and
Snapshot. The data is also published in an industry database at audiencesnapshot.com.
How to Use AAM Information to Evaluate U.S. Newspapers
19
Get an Extra Edge with AAM’s
Media Intelligence Center
Newspaper Analyzer
A versatile analysis tool that offers myriad AAM-verified
circulation data refreshed every 24 hours. Access up to
10 years of historical audit report data for easy trending,
plus:
• Generate reports with the components you need.
• Review, download and analyze current and historical
audit report data.
• Use a range of search criteria, including publisher,
title,
circulation size, state, market area and ZIP code.
• Built-in, customizable, standard reports for timely
analysis.
• Create and save multiple queries for speedy reference.
• View ZIP code data on a map and export data.
Available as a full product or in two modules: U.S. daily
and weekly newspapers and all Canadian and international newspapers and nonpaid newspapers.
Reports Library
Gain access to thousands of current and historical AAM
reports in digital format. The database offers the most
up-to-date reports posted as soon as they are released.
Subscriptions are offered in two convenient modules:
current three years and historical (10 years).
Plus, create and export bar charts for multiple publications to compare print and digital circulation.
Audit Status Listing
Password required for free product
This listing provides the current status for all open
audits, along with the date each audit was moved to
its current status. Where applicable, specific data is
provided on the most recently released audit for all
publisher members.
Ratebook
Perform quick comparisons with this handy reference
report. Released twice a year following March and
September publisher’s statement filing. Includes basic
prices for single copy and home delivery and mail – 52
week/1 year rates.
Snapshot Analyzer
A complement to AAM’s U.S. Daily Newspaper Snapshot
Report that offers a customizable query tool for top-line and
publisher’s statement data. Available same day as newspaper
Snapshot release, the Snapshot Analyzer allows users to:
• Analyze day-of-week level circulation.
• Access paid and verified breakouts for print, digital replica
and digital nonreplica.
• Use multiple search options including the top 50 and top
100 newspapers by circulation.
• Save and retrieve lists.
• Download customized data queries in Excel or PDF.
• Query and download CMR metrics.
• Access expanded top-line and branded edition data as
publisher’s statements are released.
For details on other products, demos and
tutorials, contact the Media Intelligence
Center staff at 877-222-0932 or
[email protected]
How to Use AAM Information to Evaluate U.S. Newspapers
20
auditedmedia.com
auditedmedia.ca
The Alliance for Audited Media is a not-for-profit organization that connects North
America’s leading media companies, advertisers and ad agencies. Founded in
1914 as the Audit Bureau of Circulations, AAM is the preeminent source of crossmedia verification and information services, providing standards, audit services
and data critical to the advertising industry. The organization independently verifies print and digital circulation, mobile apps, website analytics, social media,
technology platforms and audience information for newspapers, magazines and
digital media companies in the U.S. and Canada. In November 2012, AAM joined
forces with Certified Audit of Circulations.
Headquarters Office
48 W. Seegers Road • Arlington Heights, IL 60005-3913
P: 224.366.6939 • F: 224.366.6949
New York Office
122 East 42nd Street, Suite 807 • New York, NY 10168-0899
P: 212.867.8992 • F: 212.867.8947
Canadian Office
151 Bloor Street West, Suite 850 • Toronto, ON M5S 1S4
P: 416.962.5840 • F: 416.962.5844
5/13
How to Use AAM Information to Evaluate U.S. Newspapers
How to Use AAM Information to Evaluate U.S. Newspapers
Copyright © 2013 Alliance for Audited Media. All rights reserved.