Bringing magazine measurement into the 21st century – providing event-based data whilst maintaining the recency measure

Daniëlle Siegers
CIM, Belgium

Patrick Hermie
MediaH, Belgium

Peter Masson
Bucknull & Masson, United Kingdom


This paper describes the current method of collecting and processing data for evaluating different magazine schedules. This is Last Issue Period readership (Recency) coupled with reading frequency and a probability expansion model to produce the traditional schedule evaluation metrics of GRPs, Net Reach, Average OTS and the OTS distribution. The flaws of this model are well documented.

The paper challenges the actual utility of this model for magazine schedule evaluation since it models magazine readership as occurring all at once. It argues this gives rise to a completely misleading view of magazines as a reach medium whereas they are a frequency medium well suited to the concept of recency planning (Ephron, 1998). Equally it fails to take account of repeat reading of the magazine, severely under-estimating OTS delivery and provides only a measure of the issue audience rather than the advertisement page audience. As a consequence magazines are less able to position themselves effectively in today's multi-media environment where competitors (TV, radio and Internet) all utilize time (event) based planning.