Time Inc Magazines to Offer 'Instant' Circulation Data

24 September 2007

NEW YORK: In response to increasing pressure from advertisers wanting faster, more accurate metrics, magazine publishing giant Time Inc has signed up to Rapid Report, a near real-time online service introduced last summer by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Rapid Report allows publishers to voluntarily report top-line circulation data on an issue-by-issue basis within weeks of the sale or distribution date.

Traditionally magazines have issued half-yearly circulation figures - gathered by ABC - on which they base their ad rates.

Time Inc's break with convention also offers advertisers circulation guarantees for each issue in which they place an ad.

However, the service protects magazines from taking hits on the smallest shortfalls in circulation and will only credit advertisers when an issue misses its promised circulation by more than 2%.

The move by the Time Warner unit - whose titles include Sports Illustrated, People and InStyle - is likely to prompt rivals into adopting similar tactics, thereby bringing about the eventual demise of six-monthly averages.

A TW spokeswoman says: "We look forward to offering our advertisers the most up-to-the-minute circulation data as it becomes available."

Data sourced from AdAge.com; additional content by WARC staff