ABC to offer digital circulation audit

The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) Singapore has created a new set of rules for the auditing and reporting of circulation numbers of publications which include digital editions, also tweaking current rules for print.

The new rules and guidelines will apply immediately in the next audit and certification.

This follows a year-long review by ABC in 2011 to examine the industry's evolving needs for statistics in media reporting and verification, and has been done in response to more publications and advertisers taking to digital strategies, said a release from the ABC.

With the inclusion of all media formats, the revamped ABC audit report and certification is expected to offer a comprehensive picture of a publication's total media footprint, providing media buyers and sellers with thorough and reliable data of each publication.

"ABC feels strongly the need to put in place an auditing process to better account for the growing users within the digital editions of the numerous publications that are already established in the market. We are proud to have arrived with this new robust auditing process to tackle these growing digital platforms and see this initiative as an important first step to keep pace of our service offerings with the changing communications world," said chairman of the ABC Arthur Sung.

Irene Ng, VP of sales, Samsung Asia said an independent audit process is important as it adds another level accountability to media investment. "I am sure our media owners would see this as an added validation to the usage of online media," she said.

The new rules include new standards for free copies, such as allowing circulation copies served to employees, correspondents and agents to be included under free circulation as well as those given away at exhibitions or conferences to be included.

As for having digital editions to qualify on ABC reports, they must be consistent in character and content with the print edition. In addition, access to the digital edition - whether on a personal computer or mobile device, must be restricted to subscribers or registered users.

Marketing understands that many magazines in the local market however, still go unaudited.

ABC Singapore is jointly owned by the Advertising Media Owners Association Singapore, Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Singapore, and the Singapore Advertisers Association, and managed by a board of directors comprising three representatives from each organisation.