New Roy Morgan metric claims to put precise online spend value on audiences

Coles MagazineRoy Morgan Research has released a new metric which it claims puts an accurate and precise online spend value against the audiences of newspapers, magazines, television shows and channels, radio stations and websites across a range of consumer and business expenditure categories.

The metric is called Audience Dollar Value and aims to turn the long-standing readership currency into a dollar value of what readers from that media brand spend online.

“Our research shows that Australians spend an average of $750m a week online. We are now using our online expenditure data to quantify the dollar value of magazines and other media in terms of their reach into the lucrative online market,” said Michelle Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan, in a statement.  

According to the first data released from the metric the country’s five most-read magazines maintain their position in terms of online dollar spend value with Roy Morgan placing a combined $123m a week in online spend for readers of Coles Magazine, with $88m supposedly spent by readers of Woolworth’sFresh, $76m by Better Homes and Gardens’ readers, $68m by Women’s Weekly’s readers, and $53m by Woman’s Day’s readers.

Roy MorganRoy Morgan also breaks down spend to an individual reader level with Frankie readers estimated to have spent an average of $62 each online in seven days, propelling the magazine up 14 spots on its readership position to 15th by total online spend with a valuation of $23m. However, Virgin Australia’s Voyeur makes the biggest leap into the new top 20, rising 28 spots to 16th on the back of a $22m valuation.

Yesterday the new publisher-funded rival to Roy Morgan’s readership survey, EMMA, released its first year on year data which drew criticism for “inconsistencies” in how it calculated readerships of newspapers and magazines, with many showing rising readerships despite falling circulations/sales.

Maxus managing director Nick Keenan noted on the issue of readership: “The readership/circulation argument is irrelevant. I don’t care about the (total) audience —  I care what happened last Thursday and was there a sudden surge because of Baby Gammy and the 60 Minutes special and was everyone outraged? I could have traded that because there would have been a ground swell of audience.”

Nic Christensen


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