FEATURE17 September 2012

NRS PADD receives mixed response


The National Readership Survey (NRS) has launched its new print and digital data dataset NRS PADD. Research asked a panel of experts whether the new offering really offers new insights?

It aims to provide the planning, buying and selling communities with a continuous single-source trading and planning currency for newsapers and magazines. Yet, critics have pointed out that the numbers provided so far for combined readership have been substantially less than those of the Audit Bureau of Circulations’s (ABC) figures.

Research took the pulse of some industry experts to find out whether they are excited by the potential of PADD, or worried that a new set of data just means more data to argue over.

Max Willey, research director at BDRC Continental

NRS PADD is a huge development as it can identify the overlap between print and digital consumption; that’s what makes it unique and particularly valuable to marketers. The ability to quantify unduplicated reach across print and digital readership allows the NRS to calculate the incremental reach added by news websites – a holy grail to newspapers – and it should provide planners the means to target their audiences far more accurately across both platforms.

There will always be a certain amount of contradiction and confusion when consumption of the same media is measured by different research methodologies, but in theory, marketers should welcome NRS PADD as a product that will provide more clarity rather than muddy the waters further.

Andrew Bradford, VP, client consulting, media at The Nielsen Company

NRS PADD data will add a new string to the bow of ad planners. Clearly, by measuring people, it differs from ABC, so naturally we shouldn’t expect those two datasets to be perfectly correlated – but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are contradictory.

Graeme Wood, communication and social strategist at LBi

For me this is not a terribly useful development. The data is unduplicated, which is fine, but for media planning purposes, it only becomes useful if we can prove that readers are more loyal across multiple platforms. Potentially, this insight would then inform how the media owner fits into the broader campaign – but the NRS PADD data needs more depth to it to provide more significant information than just quantifiable numbers.

The data is also web only, while most publishers are focusing on mobile/tablet. This is not only based on how their readers use technology, but it is a more directly comparable economic model to their legacy business – i.e. an ad in a magazine has the potential to be seen by the entire readership, as does an ad in an iOS Newstand publication. Potential reach through a [web] display campaign is limited by the impressions bought, so incremental reach is of less relevance.

In addition, data is based on media brand rather than audience, so it is of little use in planning dynamic semantic publishing (DSP)-based online display. As DSPs increasingly commoditise the online display market, media brands are having to focus on the communities built around their brands as a source of revenue – for example Bauer’s Create division using editorial and community input to develop branded content.

The NRS providing insight on publishers’ non-print activity can only be a good thing but it’s just a step in the right direction. Ideally we should be fusing all of the audience currencies together to make true cross channel planning a reality. We encourage cross-industry collaboration such as the IPA’s Touchpoints initiative in order to open up planning tools that enable agencies to plan against a true representation of reach across all channels.

Chris Lawson, director of content sales and marketing at Guardian News & Media

For us, this data at last gives us a true picture of the reach of Britain’s newspapers. We think this report shows the real value of taking a digital-first strategy and approaches audience measurement in a unique way. It realises the fact that we have built a larger audience than ever before for our journalism without resorting to stunts or bought-in celebrity flufff.

The stats are invalauble to us for building our digital strategy going forward. We are committed to investing in digital publishing. We value our readers wherever they consume our brands – on tablets, online and in paper – and as valued advertiser we want to make it easier for them to reach audiences across all platforms.”

Jerry Wright, CEO of the ABC

We are always keen to see more transparency through reporting data to industry-agreed standards, so the PADD initiative by NRS, which fuses its own print readership data with the UKOM online panel data, should provide valuable, new information for all.

As has been the case for many years, the industry needs both circulation and readership data to fully inform the planning and trading of advertising and this is true of both the print and digital markets. Media planners and buyers need to work with and use both census-based and research-based survey tools in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of audiences and readership.”

1 Comment

10 years ago

"but for media planning purposes, it only becomes useful if we can prove that readers are more loyal across multiple platforms" eh?? Not sure I get the gist of that broader comment - something along the lines of "this doesn't answer all our questions, therefore is useless" - but it seems short-sighted. While the may not be as complete as some agencies would like, it's an important step on the path to a much more comprehensive measure of 'readership'; and at a time when print titles are increasingly looking online for readers and revenue, it's invaluable.

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