What the New UK Cross-channel Readership Data Tells Us about Print

In the U.S., magazine media brands have been getting a pretty good visual on their multi-channel readership thanks to the 360 Data approach launched in 2014. While those figures from the MPA had some decided problems – mainly they were missing the all-important “print only” circulation numbers in favor of an entire cross-channel metric – looking at readership on all channels is certainly important.

Now, publishers in the U.K. finally have similar data, with this week’s launch of the Audience Measurement for Publishers, or PAMCo.

Source: PAMCo

“For the first time publishers and advertisers can see audience delivery across all platforms – including phone, tablet, desktop and print,” writes David Pidgeon in MediaTel. “The new currency entirely replaces the work of the now-defunct National Readership Survey.”

U.K. publishing execs are happy about the news, saying it’s been long overdue. 

“Having one single de-duplicated view across all platforms has been top of our wish list for many years,” said Paul Bainsfair, director general of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.”

Time Inc. UK CEO Marcus Rich echoes the sentiment, adding that this kind of specific audience data will help sell ad space. 

“Agencies have long sought to access our brands and audiences across all of our platforms with one single buy – PAMCo data now provides them with a robust rationale to justify inclusion of all publisher platforms to their clients to the benefit of all,” Rich notes.

Looking at the numbers, what’s really interesting is how print still shines as a readership channel in many niches, even as we spend more time online. 

Women’s weekly magazines, for example, almost uniformly get the bulk of their readership from print. Niche specific titles like Country Life, Gardner’s World and TV Times also get the majority of their readership from print. Even some mass market titles, which are using digital to successfully grow their audience bases, still have strong showings in print readership.  Fashion magazines in particular, like UK Cosmopolitan and Vogue, note more print readers than digital. 

Finally, the monthly reach of tablets is, as expected, pretty low for the most part, with some exceptions like Auto Express and Radio Times; both of those titles show about equal readership across tablet and print channels. In the women’s magazine category, cooking titles are the only ones really leveraging tablet versions successfully, most likely due to the way readers use the device for recipes. 

Understanding where print magazines fit in your consumer funnel is critical to growth; for UK publishers, this kind of information should be hugely useful as they create better experiences for their audiences – and their advertising partners.