Thursday, April 20, 2006

Measures for measure

Being great exponents of the power of audience and readership, consumer magazine publishers may welcome the recent announcement that Mediamark Research Inc. (MRI) in the U.S. is testing whether the web can be used to see how quickly a magazine accumulates readers. This, according to a story in MediaPost. If successful, such a method could enable media planners and buyers to compare the reach and frequency of consumer magazines to those of media like TV and radio.

Mediamark said it will begin conducting weekly surveys with 2,500 individuals each week to determine if the Internet can be used to accurately measure
how quickly consumers read individual editions of magazines. As with the Print Measurement Bureau in Canada, they will be shown magazine covers along with those covers' issue dates and asked whether they had looked into or read those particular issues and be asked how they obtained the magazines and where they read them, along with demographic data.

Marketers and agencies could conceivably use this data to better calculate advertising return-on-investment and "to develop an understanding of the factors contributing to issue-to-issue audience variability," said a Mediamark release. MRI says it is not intended to displace or replace, but rather to augment, its standard face-to-face interviewing.

Recently MRI announced another initiative, MediaDay, which reinterviews respondents to determine what media they use and for which purpose throughout a typical day.

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Anonymous Brian S. said...

PMB no longer shows covers and hasn't since Reading Reading replaced Through-the-Book in 2001. They show logo cards and ask about the last time any issue of the magazine was read or looked into. Interestingly, one of the reasons PMB made the switch was to defend itself against the encroachment of MRI which had a performed a pilot study in Toronto using recent reading. So ironically, MRI is now launching an issue-specific study.

10:57 am  

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