Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Want chips with that? RFID transponders tested for magazine readership

Mediamark Research and Intelligence, a well-known U.S. magazine audience measurement firm is partnering with DJG Marketing's Waiting Room Subscription Services to put radio frequency identification (RFID) chips in magazines in waiting rooms to determine just how many customers actually read them, according to a story MediaDaily News.

It marks the first external test of the small transponders. The goal is to find it the chips can accurately measure not only the time spent reading, but the exposure of a reader to specific pages. It's hoped that these results would be better and more reliable than self-recorded diaries kept by readers.
The new measurement initiative may help resolve a controversial issue in magazine ad sales: Should free or discounted copies distributed in public places count as quality circulation? Often dismissed as "junk circ" used to inflate publishers' figures, proponents argue that these magazines have value that can be measured in terms of reach and frequency, akin to booming place-based video media.
Earlier research by Time Inc. and Mediaedge:cia tracked readership of six different magazines in a sample population of about 5,000 people, focusing on Entertainment Weekly, In Style, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, Parenting and People.
It found that over 80% of waiting-room readers act on ad or editorial content they see in magazines there. The Internet The study also found 85% said they "didn't mind waiting if magazines were available," while 97% thought "waiting rooms should provide things to read while you wait."

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