- Media planners and buyers welcomed the results of the Quality of Readership Survey this week, which will help them implement planning more effectively, but there is concern that the research is too simplistic.
The research looks at how publications are read and is designed to give media planners and buyers a greater understanding of the print medium and the differences within it. The results reveal a strong topline for magazines in terms of readership behaviour, which is noticeably favourable when compared with newspapers.
Central to the research is Page Exposures (PEX), which show the number of separate times a page is exposed to a reader in terms of a single insertion. The results show that while magazines and newspaper supplements as a whole offer 2.2 exposures per page in the life of an average issue, PEX for magazines is twice that for newspapers.
In terms of time spent reading, paid-for magazines account for an average 53.9 minutes among all adults, compared to 39.3 minutes for daily newspapers and 25.3 for newspaper supplements and sections. The average magazine is picked up 5.4 times, compared to 2.6 for newspaper supplements and sections.
David Fletcher, head of CIA MediaLab said: "It's too one dimensional. If anyone says we have a more effective medium because we have more eyesight glances, they're only looking at one half of the issue. I welcome PEX, but I won't use it in isolation as a trading tool, because is only tells half the story. If magazine publishers think they can trade on it, they will have a shock."
Tim McCloskey, deputy managing director of BMP Optimum, said: "It puts magazines on the front foot, which is good for the medium. But it doesn't tell us about clutter, how advertising is read or the intensity of read. It won't change the way press is sold and traded."
Laura James, head of press at New PHD, said: "If this is supposed to be a proactive stance, why have a cheap shot at the national press? However, the results in themselves are invaluable and answer all those questions clients ask.
Georgina Crace, ad director at IPC Southbank Group, denied that QRS was intended to knock newspaper advertising. "It's not a meant to be a head on head debate between magazines and newspapers. This is supposed to be good news for the print medium."