Category Archives: Research

Readership Research, Circulation, Site Traffic

AAM Eliminates Paid Circulation Requirement

We’re surprised it took this long for the audit board to eliminate paid circ. requirement. We’ve been urging AAM (formerly ABC) to accept free “newspapers” for a long time. In the past, AltMedia was categorized as speciality magazines in order to have circulation audited. Read the AAM (Alliance for Audited Media) press release in E&P.

The Dark Side of Pageviews and Their Bridesmaids

By Mark Hanzlik, Executive Director

If you missed Sam Slaughter’s frank look the almighty pageview in his Digiday post earlier this week, give it a quick review.  It’s a short but awfully clear-headed view of the state of the brand advertising in the current digital environment.   He calls pageviews’ bridesmaids (metrics impressions and click-through rates) or more likely co-dependents in the practice of measuring traffic.

“Chasing pageviews is almost universal in the digital media world, and it leads to an almost universally crappy user experience,” Slaughter summarizes in his post.    He admits, pageviews work for direct-marketing advertising but when it comes to brand awareness and sales, it’s a miserable experience for those on all sides.


“Great brand advertising doesn’t just reach people, it influences them,” an often quoted mantra in agency shops from Manhattan to Los Angeles sounds like a Don Draper line though maybe not as sexy or introspective.   This points toward a need to influence and/or engage the consumer in a more meaningful way which clearly cannot happen in a direct-marketing driven scenario.

But there is some good news.   Some brands are waking up, starting to drift away from standard banner ads and moving toward the Holy Grail of online ad space, quality original content.   It will take a lot more advertising decision-makers’ embracing this kind of thinking before we’ll really see the almighty pageview and the rest of its’ wedding party retreat from view.

Madison Ranks at Top of AltMedia Websites Nationwide

Media Audit’s newly released analysis of the top AltMedia websites in the U.S. was led by Isthmus in Madison, WI.    According to the study, 15.2% of Madison adults visited within the last 30 days.   The top three sites, Isthmus, C-Ville Weekly and Austin Chronicle have been perennial leaders in this research of online viewers.   Also included in the top five were Springfield’s Illinois Times, and another Charlotte site, The Hook.


For a more in-depth look at the results from Media Audit, visit their website and June 2013 fyi newsletter.

The new annual study which combined research from viewers gathered between 2011-2012 in 80 markets was recently released by The Media Audit. Results for this ranking are based on Adults 18+ in each respective local market study.

Alarming Stats About Banner Ads

From last week, here’s an interesting digital advertising post from Digiday about banner ads and the alarming facts about their many shortcomings.

Take your pick, there’s plenty of reasons for media buyers to change the nature of web advertising but there doesn’t seem to be too much movement away from the stalwart banner.

1. Over 5.3 trillion display ads were served to U.S. users last year. (ComScore)
2. That’s 1 trillion more than 2009. (ComScore)
3. The typical Internet user is served 1,707 banner ads per month. (Comscore)
4. Click-through rates are .1 percent. (DoubleClick)
5. The 468 x 60 banner has a .04 percent click rate. (DoubleClick)
6. An estimated 31 percent of ad impressions can’t be viewed by users. (Comscore)
7. The display advertising Lumascape has 318 logos. (Luma Partners)
8. 8 percent of Internet users account for 85 percent of clicks. (ComScore)
9. Up to 50 percent of clicks on mobile banner ads are accidental. (GoldSpot Media)
10. Mobile CPMs are 75 cents. (Kleiner Perkins)
11. You’re more likely to survive a plane crash than click a banner ad. (Solve Media)
12. 15 percent of people trust banner ads completely or somewhat, compared to 29 percent for TV ads. (eMarketer)
13. 34 percent don’t trust banner ads at all or much, compared to 26 percent for magazine ads. (eMarketer)
14. 25-34-year olds see 2,094 banner ads per month. (ComScore)
15. 445 different advertisers delivered more than a billion banner ads in 2012. (ComScore)


AltMedia Readership Timeline Shows Little Change Year-to-Year

By Mark Hanzlik, Executive Director

Just as the Summer reaches peak temperatures each year, we receive an annual readership summary report of AltMedia from The Media Audit.   This year was no exception though the arrival was a few weeks later than usual, the results were nearly identical to the previous year.

In this report, we not only receive individual market readership data but also network-wide totals and averages that allow us to view a timeline of AltMedia Readership across a number of years at once.

Here’s some of the top-line numbers and a few takeaways from the newest report.

Total number of publications:   129

Total number of markets:  86

Last issue cume (18+ yrs) Readership:  13,100,000

Four-issue cume (18+ yrs) Readership:  24,700,000

Categories with little change over previous year:   Education, Income,
Household stats

Categories with change in index over previous year:  Age (younger),
Drink wine or beer frequently (increase),  purchasing CD’s, etc (decrease)

Overall, the single issue and 4-issue cume reach by altmedia readers dropped from the previous report indicating  less readership of the printed products while at the same time on the online side, viewership continues to increase.

We also use the network-wide readership figures on a single marketing sheet summary for AltMedia readership, here’s the latest (shown below).

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The Media Audit Survey period data is drawn from January 2011 – March 2012 report period.