New Industry Guidelines Help Advertisers with Clear Metrics on iPad Magazine Readership

This morning, the MPA (Association of Magazine Media) published a set of voluntary guidelines to encourage the growth of advertising on tablets and to provide clarity about the measurement of magazine media audiences for advertisers.

The guidelines were developed by the MPA Tablet Metrics Task Force, which is a group of magazine executives from companies like Condé Nast, Forbes, Hearst Magazines, and Time Inc., among others.

Tablet magazines, such as those found on the iPad, are still a nascent media, and until now, there’s been an insufficient amount of information to provide to advertisers. The iPad, and other tablets, are ideal for magazine browsing because of the ability to provide a more immersive, dynamic experience for readers with video and audio in addition to text and photos.

“The tablet guidelines have been created to recognize the need within the advertising community for greater insight and understanding into how to best leverage this powerful new platform,” said Nina Link, President and CEO of the Association of Magazine Media.

In the guidelines, there are five recommended metrics that are designed to be used by magazines and advertisers:

  1. Total consumer paid digital issues
  2. The total number of tablet readers per issue
  3. The total number of sessions per issue
  4. The total time spent per issue
  5. The average number of sessions per reader per issue

While the iPad has been around since April of 2010, publishing on the device took off after Apple introduced its Newsstand application, an aggregate place for all of a users magazines and newspapers, that also provides easy access to new subscriptions.

Newsstand has been a boon for publishers, with some, like Condé Nast, experiencing more than 250 percent growth since its introduction. Tablet advertising has not caught up quite as quickly, and the Association of Magazine Media is hoping these guidelines will help. “This initiative will enable a broader understanding of the power of tablet magazines and facilitate faster adoption of tablet advertising,” said Michael Clinton, MPA Chairman and President, Marketing and Publishing Director, Hearst Magazines.

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