Match Media to hold six month beauty contest between EMMA and Roy Morgan Research

emmaIndependent agency Match Media – one of the first two to sign up to new readership metric EMMA – is to run a six month trial alongside Roy Morgan Research’s service before deciding which is best, the agency’s boss has revealed.

Match Media CEO John Preston told Mumbrella that the agency will then select just one as its preferred currency.

EMMA – Enhanced Media Metrics Australia – launched in August, as publisher funded body The Newspaper Works attempted to dislodge Roy Morgan’s long held position as Australia’s readership currency.

Match and the media agency group IPG Mediabrands were announced today as the first two to sign up to the service. Last month Mumbrella reported claims that the service was being offered below cost to get agencies to sign up.

Preston said he was still undecided about which metric was best for his clients.

“Match Media plans to run Roy Morgan concurrently for a period of time, say six months, and then will make a commercial decisions as to which tool provides the best insights for our clients,” Preston told Mumbrella. “Whilst Emma will be the new currency for readership , we have used Roy Morgan single source on many of our clients for a number of years. That’s not something you switch off overnight.”

Research company IPSOS, which runs EMMA, has declined to comment on the price paid by the agencies. Media buyers have previously described how IPSOS was offering access free until July next year, and then offering additional discounts on top if agencies signed up before December of this year.

Executive chairman of Mediabrands Henry Tajer said his agencies could afford to run both research tools. “We have EMMA on board but we will be keeping Roy Morgan on board, it is not a function of which one are we going to keep,” said Tajer.

“We haven’t jumped on EMMA because we want to get rid of Morgan, we’ve signed up to EMMA because we think EMMA is an outstanding product and it gives us a granularity and better understanding than what we have now,” he said.

The signing of Mediabrands sees the company’s media agencies UM, Initiative and BPN take up the research. UM’s clients include Australia’s largest newspaper publisher News Corp Australia, however Tajer has rejected any suggestions that this was a factor in the decision.

“No, (News) doesn’t have anything to do with it,” said Tajer. “If you look at the clients we are fortunate enough to have in Mediabrands, we have and are chartered with the responsibility for Australia’s largest newspaper investors The Australian Government, Wesfarmers Group and now the NSW Government.”

“We have a cross section of clients. Having the biggest investors in newspapers and print meant that having EMMA was the right thing to do.”

The MD of IPSOS Media CT Simon Wake said in a statement: “EMMA has taken a step closer to becoming the industry currency with the signing of both Mediabrands and Match Media to use the new cross platform audience insights survey.

“It is a strong indication of support that two of Australia’s leading agencies will now use EMMA to provide their clients with deeper insights to plan their investment decisions.”

In announcing the signings IPSOS added that the company was also ramping up its training efforts with an additional 500 agency executives to receive  training in EMMA before the end of November.

EMMA has reported significantly higher readership in most titles than its rival Roy Morgan. Publishers News Corp Australia, Fairfax Media, Bauer Media and West Australian Newspapers have all declared they would push media agencies to use EMMA as the metric for future rate cards, arguing that it is a more accurate reflection of  audience.

Nic Christensen 


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