Bauer Media pulls out of audit body AMAA, leaving market without circulation data

Bauer Media has resigned from the Audited Media Association of Australia (AMAA), meaning the industry will no longer have access to independently verified circulation numbers of Australia’s largest magazine publisher.bauer-media-234x178

Bauer – whose titles include Australian Women’s Weekly, Cosmopolitan, Gourmet Traveller, NW and Woman’s Day – is also understood to be in talks to acquire the magazine assets of Seven West Media’s Pacific Magazines.

The move by the German-owned publishing company to remove all its mastheads from the AMAA’s audits casts further doubt on the industry body’s future viability. Fairfax Media withdrew its digital subscriptions from the audit in August. And CarAdvice, Pedestrian.TV and Bauer’s The Australian Women’s Weekly have all withdrawn from the body’s digital traffic measurement service in the past few months.

The withdrawal of Bauer Media from the AMAA leaves just Pacific Magazines and NewsLifeMedia as the big consumer magazine publishers participating in the magazine circulation audits.

In today’s announcement, Bauer said it would now sign up to readership data Enhanced Media Metrics Australia (EMMA) which was set up by publishers about three years ago, along with the existing readership data it receives from Roy Morgan Research.

However, both of these metrics are based on surveying the public to ask them which titles they have seen, rather than on hard data of actual sales and distribution verified by the AMAA.

Audited Media Association of Australia AMAA logo - cropped wide

Nick Chan, CEO at Bauer, said in the statement: “In an increasingly competitive media market we have to focus on the total audience delivery of our brands, rather than a measure which is based only on copy sales.

“This will make our magazines more competitive with other main media such as television, radio and OOH, which is already traded based on the size of audiences.

“The AMAA is a highly effective organisation, but circulation audits do not properly represent how consumers are interacting with our brands across different platforms, nor do they reflect the integrated media discussions we are having with our advertising clients.

“Connected audiences across multi-media channels is where we see the future of magazine brands in Australia.”

The EMMA readership survey, conducted by Ipsos, is released monthly.

Chan said: “The addition of EMMA and, in particular, its fusion of Nielsen’s digital audience data, will give advertisers greater visibility on the consumers engaging with our brands. In addition to the data from Roy Morgan, we have the most granular view of total magazine brand audiences across print and digital channels.”

The AMAA has been approached for comment.


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