, Fall 2012
GfK MRI is in the process of reprinting and re-mailing the Fall 2012 pocketpiece.
This item is being reprinted in order to include the corrected circulations for Garden Design, USA Today and Wall Street Journal. While all audience estimates remain unchanged, these changes in circulation will change RPC estimates as well. These corrections have already been made in MEMRI and/or through your online service provider.
The following revisions have been made:
Wall Street Journal
Please be sure to use only the revised document when you receive it and discard the previous version.
Please contact your representative if you have any questions.
, Spring 2012
GfK MRI has changed
several of its magazine release criteria beginning with the Spring 2012
Report. These changes reduce the minimum
number of unweighted readers for a magazine to 135 and increase relative error
of the projected audience to 30%, for those titles with intabs between 135 and
155. Both these changes are reflected in the Magazine Release Standards document
that is included with the Spring 2012 codebook.
The rationale for these changes is based on expected trends in magazine
readership. We anticipate that, over a
period of time, some print readers will move exclusively to digital
reading. In that event, the number of
claimed readers may decrease. At the
same time, GfK MRI wants to ensure continuous reporting of magazines that have
been in our study for years and have generally been at the lower end of in-tab
requirements. The net effect of these
changes in the Spring 2012 report is continued release of 2 titles that fell
substantially below the old release standards and release of 1 title unreported
in the Fall 2011 study.
, Spring 2012
After conducting qualitative
research and a pilot study of more than 1,000 respondents to evaluate wording
changes in its magazine audience methodology, GfK MRI revised the wording of the
questionnaire to capture looking at a magazine brand’s website and reading of
the publication’s digital editions or apps.
We introduced this change in March 2011 and we shared one wave of
results in the Fall 2011 Report. The
objective of the new questions was to provide the industry with a measure of
the “total brand footprint” for each released publication. This “total brand footprint” included website
visitation estimates, as well as digital editions and apps.
As we approach the release of two
full waves of interviewing (i.e., one year) in the Spring 2012 report, GfK MRI
has been reviewing its reporting standards, especially as they relate to
website audience estimates. This notice discusses
the relevant issues regarding website audience measurement and communicates our
intended reporting guidelines for the Spring 2012 Report.
Magazine Websites in the
Survey of the American Consumer
In our deliberations, we assessed
the utility of estimates derived using a self-reported
website audience methodology,
especially compared with audience data from the passively-collected Internet audience
measures provided by Nielsen Online NetView and comScore Media Metrix,
respectively. GfK MRI acknowledged
previously that self-reported website audiences would be potentially quite different
from either of the aforementioned Internet audience measurement services (see GfK
MRI’s Notice to Clients, Fall 2011).
While there is a number of compelling research explanations for these
differences, we also recognize that the passively-collected methodology is viewed
as the appropriate audience measure for the Internet. (This understanding is reflected in the value
we place on our fusion between Nielsen Online NetView and GfK MRI’s National
study and our upcoming fusion with comScore Media Metrix.)
In acknowledging that self-reported data for website audiences
are perceived as qualitative rather than as a currency, we necessarily assessed
the value of combining our paper version audience measure (i.e., the magazine and
national newspaper audience currency) with a non-currency website audience
number to provide a total brand footprint.
We have concluded that providing a net unduplicated estimate of these
two media behaviors most likely introduces more confusion than clarity for the
An additional issue in combining
print website audiences with the paper version audiences is the absence of a
commonly measured timeframe for website behavior. Unlike audience measures in the Nielsen and
comScore products (mentioned above) that use a common 30 day time period, GfK
MRI’s website audiences for publications are not based on a common timeframe. GfK MRI’s variable timeframe for different
publication website audiences places any total brand footprint estimates that
includes websites on different playing fields for magazines of different
publication frequencies. Comparisons are
difficult to evaluate.
Spring 2012 changes in
Accordingly, we will release all
magazine and national newspaper website audience estimates that meet reporting
standards as separate measures, and not as part of a “total brand reach.” We firmly believe these website profiles can
provide valuable directional and consumer profile information for our
clients. Instead of “total brand reach” we will
release an estimate of “Print and Digital Edition Reach.” This new variable will be a net estimate of
hard-copy/paper reading and digital editions/apps that essentially share the same or similar editorial as the hard-copy/paper
edition. “Print and Digital Edition
Reach” will not include websites or other measures related to the magazine’s or national newspaper’s brand, such as
visiting the publication’s social-networking site.
, Fall 2011
GfK MRI is making the following
additional data available in the Fall 2011 Report:
Ad Noting Audiences
Actions taken Audiences (as a result of noting an ad)
additional data are developed by modeling results from GfK MRI’s AdMeasure
product onto the average-issue audiences from the Fall 2011 Report at the
respondent level. The modeling
procedure, which is described in detail in the Technical Guide, is conducted on a
magazine-by-magazine basis and uses variables that predict the likelihood of
noting an ad or taking an action as a result of noting an ad. Since these additions represent integrating
results from a non-MRC accredited study (AdMeasure) with an ongoing accredited
study (GfK MRI’s Survey of the American Consumer), these data are not MRC accredited.
additional information about the rationale for using specific variables in the
modeling, please refer to:
White Paper: “Internet Measurement of Ad-noting: Sampling
and Statistical Issues”
, Fall 2011
note details the data from the new multiplatform audience questions that will
be released in the Fall 2011 report.
Wave 65 (March – October 2011 interviewing period), GfK MRI introduced a number
of questions about reading or looking into print brands on computers, tablets,
e-readers and other mobile devices. The
new methodology includes a change in the preamble to the magazine reading
section, additional visual and verbal stimuli to prompt recall and new
qualitative readership questions for electronic devices. (We have already released a white paper
describing these changes and the results from a pilot test conducted last
year. This report is available on GfK
MRI’s website at www.gfkmri.com.) The
comprehensive audience data will be reported on two levels. They are:
print audience: We will continue to
report the print audience for all magazines that meet release standards on all
available software provider systems and in a “Readers-Per-Copy Card” (or
“Pocketpiece”). These data reflect the
continued recent reading methodology that GfK MRI has employed since its
total multi-platform audience: We will
report the net audience for print brands across all the platforms and versions
(i.e., websites, digital reproductions, apps and other branded apps, text only)
measured in the study. These data will
only be available for one wave of the Fall 2011 report and will be noted in
that manner. Any user will need to scale
the Wave 65 total multi-platform estimates to the population for proper
assessment. We will also report total
multi-platform audiences for magazine groups.
of these data should note that the software provider’s location of the
readership measures will be changed beginning with the Fall 2011 report. Please consult your software provider and the
Fall 2011 codebook for further information.
addition to the changes in the magazine measurement procedures, GfK MRI changed
the wording of the initial newspaper question to include only paper version
readership. Electronic versions of The
New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal are measured after all
magazine readership questions are asked.
MRI will not release estimates for individual platform audiences. Our continuous in-wave evaluation of tablet,
e-reader and mobile device audiences suggests that respondent counts are not
yet sufficiently stable for individual platform reporting. We expect these audiences to grow in the
upcoming waves and we will release these data once reporting standards are
met. We will also continue to compare
responses against the availability of brands on individual platforms to ensure
the validity of responses.
website levels are more robust than data from the other electronic platforms
beyond print. However, the stability of
these data varies substantially among the magazines and warrants further review
before any individual magazine data will be released. GfK MRI employs a recall method, which by
the very nature of the questioning procedure, can produce results differing
from passively collected data from services such as Nielsen’s and comScore’s
web audience measurement, respectively.
(Users should be aware that GfK MRI has developed a fused database with
Nielsen’s web audience measurement service and is in the process of completing
a fusion with comScore’s web audience measurement service.) As part of our ongoing analysis, we will
explore these potential differences.
final note: As earlier stated, GfK MRI
removed the “interest in advertising” and “actions taken” questions from the
National Study. In their place, we plan
on integrating individual magazine topline “ad noting” and “actions taken” data
from Starch AdMeasure with the National study.
These data will not be available with the first release of print
estimates in November. The details of
this integration, including submitting this process for MRC accreditation and
timing, will soon follow.