NEWS24 August 2009

Roy Morgan ‘to compete’ with new readership survey

Asia Pacific

AUSTRALIA— Roy Morgan has vowed to continue running its 30-year-old newspaper readership survey, despite a new service being planned by industry body The Newspaper Works, according to reports.

The research firm’s chief executive Michele Levine told the Sydney Morning Herald the company was unlikely to compete for The Newspaper Works contract when it is put out to tender.

Levine said last month she was considering whether Roy Morgan would bid. However, she was quoted in a report today as saying: “We will continue to do our survey… so there will be a second survey in the market and it doesn’t make a lot of sense for us to be doing the second survey.”

Media buyers expressed misgivings about two surveys vying for currency status in the market, with some urging Roy Morgan to rethink their opposition to The Newspaper Works tender process. Others suggested the new rival survey could be rendered obsolete were Roy Morgan to make changes to its existing offer.

Meanwhile, plans for the new survey have sparked a rift between the country’s largest magazine publisher ACP Magazines and the Magazine Publishers of Australia (MPA) – with ACP reportedly pulling out of the MPA after the trade association decided to back The Newspaper Works.

ACP chief operating officer Matthew Stanton told The Australian: “‘The MPA is supporting [The Newspaper Works] process and we didn’t see any need to do that. Our view is the current system of measuring the high level of engagement through the Roy Morgan process works quite well for us. Our requirements are different to the newspapers and we’re happy with the current system we have got.”

In a statement, MPA chairman Nick Chan said: “Notwithstanding our support for the Morgan survey and belief that it serves the industry well, it also makes sense for magazines to be at the table when a process such as this is taking place.”