NEWS21 May 2020

New ABC reporting for newspapers

Media News UK

UK – The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) has introduced new data reporting options for national newspapers, with publication of circulation figures no longer required.


As part of the changes, national newspaper publishers will now be able to opt for public or private reporting.

If publishers choose public reporting, arrangements remain as they are. If they opt to report privately, circulation figures will be audited by ABC, but the publication of those figures is under the control of the publisher.

Publishers can now also report optional measures in addition to the mandatory metrics required for ABC reporting.

Additionally, there will no longer be a monthly Newsbrands report and ABC will instead publish a rolling release of data throughout the month as publishers submit their figures.

The ABC said it has made the changes with the aim of creating ‘a balance’ in how publishers ‘tell their story of growth'. The updates have been agreed by the ABC board, which includes publishers, agencies, advertisers and trade bodies.

Derek Morris, chairman, ABC, said: "Keeping a joint industry currency joined up sometimes requires compromise. However, all agree that the higher principle of independently audited figures to an agreed standard is critical and must be maintained. I believe ABC have protected this principle and found an agreed middle path."

Phil Smith, director general, ISBA, said the changes would "reduce the tendency for circulation to be seen as the only measure of newsbrands’ health".

Belinda Beeftink, research director at the IPA, said the move will "allay publisher concerns" and ensure continued "objective, independent data".