Newspaper Works boss admits EMMA takeup is a ‘mixed bag’

mark hollandsHead of the newspaper industry body The Newspaper Works Mark Hollands has admitted the take up of its new readership metric by media agencies has been a “mixed bag”.

Speaking to Mumbrella on the day of the latest release of the Enhanced Media Metrics Australia (EMMA) numbers, which reported national, metropolitan and regional newspapers all increasing their combined print and digital readership by 2.4 per cent, Hollands said that while some agencies were moving their rate card discussion to the new currency others were resisting.

“On an executional level it’s kind of a mixed bag,” said Hollands. “(The take up is) encouraging, we come at a difficult time for (media agencies) where there is a lot of change going on.

“We haven’t experienced clear air but everyone who has EMMA inside their organisation currently is doing what we thought would happen – they are using it. We are encouraging newspaper and magazine publishers to use it as their currency but sometimes the numbers are accepted and sometimes they are not depending on the policy of the media agency.”

Hollands said he was not across the exact number of media agencies who had signed up to EMMA and were now paying for the metric. “It’s not a huge number but we are expecting them to sign up until such time as the free trial ends,” said Hollands.

As Mumbrella revealed last year, the research company running EMMA Ipsos has been offering price-slashing deals with long extended free trials to ensure media agencies start using the new survey, launched as a competitor to long-time incumbent in the readership space Roy Morgan.

“The (media) agencies know how to negotiate but I think it would be unusual for any of them to be jumping at this until the May/June time but they are all using it, but some more than others,” he said.

Many media agencies have been hesitant to take up EMMA, which was funded by the newspaper industry and launched in August last year, with some voicing concerns publishers would use it to drive up rate cards at a time of declining print circulations. 

The WorksHollands made his statements while promoting The Newspaper Works’s new quarterly report on print and online numbers called The Works.

“The essence of why we launched (The Works) is that we felt the story needed to be told. We had this great data set EMMA and strategically the Newspaper Works decided we would use it to its full capacity and capability,” said Hollands.

“The Works is a Newspaper Works initiative not an EMMA initiative. We are simply using a supplier of data to tell a story. This is about the newspaper industry putting its best foot forward.”

Research insight manager at The Newspaper Works Simon Baty said report showed the audience across multiple platforms. “We haven’t been able to tell the full platform story. It is only now that we have got EMMA that we can look across all the platforms and be confident that we have a complete picture,” said Baty.

“This is the first time have the full picture across print, web and tablet.”

Nic Christensen 


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