The Alliance for Audited Media (AAM) has long been the leading paid circulation audit firm for the publishing industry, showing paid circulation for both printed and digital publications.
Last week’s announcement that they are merging, effectively immediately, with the digital auditing firm ImServices Group indicates the need for publishers to get a better grasp on exactly what their digital publications are bringing to the mix.
It could also serve to bring digital-only publishers more in line with the accounting and circulation standards of the traditional publishing industry, helping to sort out a good deal of the confusion in overall circulation figures.
“The merger will certainly add new services for publishers increasingly concerned with what their digital media efforts are leading to ad and reader retention,” writes D.B. Hubbard in Talking New Media. “But the audit industry also faces the prospects that many new digital publishers are outside the mainstream media world and little interested in the industry’s traditional trade associations, audit bureaus, events, etc.”
“Most media reports measure total digital readership solely through the lens of the official audit counts, ignoring the ever growing segment of the industry served by digital-only publishers,” Hebbard continues. “Providing more services relevant to this market may help the AAM attack these new publishers.”
This could be a really good thing for the magazine industry, and for its advertisers who are trying to get a real handle on circulation beyond “clicks,” “likes” and other digital metrics. Should be some interesting stats and figures coming out of the merged company, and we look forward to hearing more about this.