Ipsos offering agencies EMMA at a ‘significant discount’

emmaSenior media buyers say that research company Ipsos, the organisation running new industry-funded readership metric EMMA, is offering price-slashing deals to ensure media agencies start using the new survey.

They told Mumbrella’s sister tablet edition Encore that most agencies have been offered at least one year of free readership data and a second year at a heavily discounted rate if they sign up before December as the new metric seeks to challenge established readership metric Roy Morgan Research.

All of the senior buyers Encore spoke with refused to go on the record until they had fully evaluated the new metric, however, one media agency head said: “They are being generous, offering a significant discount on the price.” A senior media buyer added: “They are essentially offering it for free until July next year. There are also incentive discounts from July onwards if you get in before December for the next year.”

Other media buyers have told Encore that the discounting is driven by two factors: the need for agencies to evaluate EMMA and also a publisher desire to encourage media agencies away from using Roy Morgan data as the currency by which they would determine their advertising rates.

Since EMMA’s launch three weeks ago, News Corp Australia, Fairfax Media, Bauer Media and West Australian Newspapers have all said they would use EMMA as the metric for future rate cards.

The launch of EMMA was bankrolled by industry body The Newspaper Works which is in turn funded by the big newspaper publishers.

When it launched, the first EMMA estimates of audience numbers were on the whole much larger than Roy Morgan’s numbers, potentially giving publishers new leverage with agencies and advertisers in any discussions over their advertising rate card.

“EMMA is being very competitive,” one media buyer told Encore. “Their approach is that the product needs to be used and evaluated against the existing products in the market. To do that you need a year of working with the data.”

Research company Ipsos declined to comment on its commercial arrangments with media agencies.

The media buyers Encore spoke with said the current pricing means they can continue to use both Roy Morgan data and EMMA.

A senior agency executive said: “They have been quite clever and recognised that they are the new entrant while also recognising the economics of the situation in the marketplace. It means we can stick with the incumbent whilst trying the new metric.”

However, other media buyers remain sceptical that EMMA can ever fully challenge rival Roy Morgan.

“Agencies don’t buy Morgan for readership, we buy it to get a balanced and very complete view of the media landscape and the consumers within it,” one senior media buyer told Encore, arguing that Roy Morgan data is important for wider channel planning across media, something EMMA does not provide.

Many media buyers said that in the end the decision over which metric to use would come down to the credibility of the data, especially when the first batch of numbers showed a significant increase in readership compared to Roy Morgan.  The choice will also be driven by client needs. “The Morgan versus Emma decision will be largely be dictated by the client portfolio of each agency and how it integrates with the research,” said one agency boss.

“We will be sitting down in the next few weeks to really look at it. There are some interesting numbers out of it already with the increase in readership under EMMA compared with Roy Morgan,” said another media buyer. “We will be doing a deeper dive soon to really understand whether that’s right or not.”

“There is a significant disparity between the Morgan figures and the EMMA figures. There is not consistency between the two and we still have to sort through that, especially when publishers are pushing more and more to use EMMA.”

Nic Christensen
Encore issue 29This first appeared in the weekly edition of Encore available for iPad and Android tablets. Visit for a preview of the app or click below to download.



Declaration of interest: Emma is currently being advertised on Encore’s sister title Mumbrella.


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