ABC changes rules on reporting electronic circulations

LONDON - The Audit Bureau of Circulations has published rules that will allow publishers to report sales of digital editions on their existing ABC print certificates.

However, while digital editions can now be reported on the print certificate, they can not be included in the average net circulation figure.

The two sales figures will be reported separately, allowing for more clarity for advertisers and agencies when dealing with publishers.

Auditing of digital editions will verify that readers have either paid a subscription or actively "opted in" to receive the publication.

The auditors will also check that the publication was available for download at the correct time.

ABC's new rules will be implemented from July following several months investigation by a working group comprised of publishers of national newspapers, regional newspapers, and magazines as well as leading press buyers and the Association of Online Publishers.

Chris Boyd, chief executive of ABC, said: "By introducing these rules, publishers can ensure that they are providing advertisers and media buyers with data on their print and digital editions' circulation that is both transparent and comparable."

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