Print magazines that convert to digital-only will be required by the Alliance for Audited Media (AAM -- the new name for the Audit Bureau of Circulations) to give subscribers the option to a) receive the digital sub, b) convert to another print publication or c) receive a refund for the remainder of the subscription. Magazines may also offer incentives such as merchandise to convert print subscribers to digital.
The new guidelines were approved at the AAM's November North American board meeting and encompassed recommendations made earlier in November by the AAM Canada board committee. According to a story in Adweek
The AAM is also looking to toughen up circulation-reporting requirements for publishers. In response to pressure from media buyers, the AAM board agreed to require U.S. magazines with circulations over 250,000 to provide issue-by-issue circulation data to the AAM's Rapid Report.The Canadian division is taking a watching brief on the U.S. Rapid Report model and has not yet implemented it for Canadian magazine members.
The Rapid Report has been a voluntary service since it was introduced in 2006, and participation has been uneven. Some publishers take several months to report data or don’t provide data for every issue.
"Media buyers on our board have been pushing for” the requirement, Lulofs said, adding that “the board recognizes the need to keep moving forward, and the availability of timely data is certainly a requirement."
Re-elected for a two-year term on the AAM North American board were: Sunni Boot of ZenithOptimedia, representing Canadian advertising agencies (and now chair of the AAM); Gordon Fisher, Postmedia, representing Canadian newspapers. Sheila Stoneham of Rogers Communications Inc. was elected vice-chair of the AAM board.