Readership Works boss admits they would have liked to launch EMMA five years earlier

The head of the Readership Works admitted it would have been ideal to have its Enhanced Media Metrics Australia (EMMA) metric launched five to six years ago, also blaming the metric’s struggle to gain traction on a changing environment within media agencies.

“We would have liked to have done everything five or six years ago, without a doubt. But again, that’s such an easy thing to say,” Mark Hollands, CEO of The Newspaper Works and The Readership Works, said during a video hangout this afternoon.

Due to a technical difficulty the video finishes at 41.34 mins. We apologise for the abrupt end. 

On where the metric stands today Hollands said it has been in market for 18 months and is “currency” for publishers and put difficulties of EMMA gaining traction in market down to a changing environment within media agencies.

“From our perspective there are four out of five of the big agencies that use it, we’d like it used more and in greater usage but one might say that the usage will be driven by how newspapers approach the market and continue to step up in terms of taking their value propositions into the market,” he said.

“EMMA has walked into a bit of a perfect storm which isn’t of our making. And part of that perfect storm is in fact the change going on within media agencies and its very serious and significant change so getting traction in that kind of environment is exceptionally difficult. And particularly when there is transformation on your side of fence as well. “



When quizzed on why some publications report a fall in circulation but a rise in readership according to the EMMA data, Hollands said: “Fall in circulation does not correlate in a fall of readership that is to say if I stop buying a newspaper does that mean I don’t read one? That’s highly unlikely.

“To that end things don’t always go in lockstep. Every one of these surveys, not just ours, has outliers.”

Hollands cited the example of Bauer Media’s Zoo Weekly, which in the first year of readership data from EMMA released in August last year saw its readers-per-copy rise from 9.44 to 15.24 despite a circulation decline of 36.36 per cent.

“One of the key things about that is what happens with these outliers is generalisations get made about the performance of outliers. These generalisations are often inaccurate even though the outlier is actually true,” he said.

“There is too much generalisation and observation made about the outliers when you look at the overall survey and measure it to Morgan there are similarities.”

Among other topics covered by Hollands was the campaign launched by the body this week urging media agencies to spend more on print – using the influence of the medium as a hook.

Hollands oversees The Readership Works, the body responsible for readership measurement metric EMMA, which was launched in a bid to show the strength retained by the mastheads and the Newspaper Works, the body which represents the four biggest newspaper groups in Australia

He joined The Newspaper Works in mid-2013 as CEO from the Pacific Area Newspapers Publishers’ Association (PANPA), which he was also head of.

He has worked as a journalist for The Australian as well as a string of Fleet Street titles, and has also been head of Asia sales for Dow Jones and Asia Pacific vice president for Gartner.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.