The Audit Bureau of Circulations
now is going to include online numbers in newspaper "read" figures.
File this under "if the math doesn’t add up change the operators."
The Audit Bureau of Circulations said this week that it would begin tallying online readership as well as print-edition circulation in a boost to an industry where advertising sales have suffered from a migration of readers to the Web.
The organization said it would release newspapers’ print, online and
combined readership figures. The numbers are a key factor in
negotiations on newspaper advertising rates between newspapers and
marketers, Reuters reports. (more on newspaper audit figures)
added. Note the focus on "newspaper advertising sales" as the driver.
If this is done realistically then it is a good thing. But
unfortunately with newspaper ad salespeople this is unlikely. As
Disraeli said "there are lies, damn lies, and statistics."
Specifically when it comes to advertising I have always found the
"readership as a big multiple of subscriptions" to be an insult to a
business man’s intelligence. You have 10 subscribers, and hey, they
leave it on the coffee table so 7 other people read it, so we charge an
advertiser as if that 1 subscription equated to 8 readers. Oh really?