SYDNEY: Australian marketers are digesting the implications of new readership data which suggests that newspapers and magazines have been greatly undervalued in recent years, during which they have lost significant ad dollars to other channels.

The EMMA metric, compiled by Ipsos and supported by the industry trade body The Newspaper Works, indicated that newspaper readership figures were up to 55% higher, and magazine figures as much as 102% higher, when compared to the data supplied by Roy Morgan, the market research company.

Mat Baxter, chief executive at the UM media agency, told B&T that "EMMA has got a more robust and more recent methodology attached to it" and said his agency would be putting its full support behind this metric.

He added that Roy Morgan had "failed to respond to the needs of the market place" which had asked for greater detail, including multi-platform and sectional readership.

"Agencies won't be able to afford to subscribe to the two surveys," he concluded. "One is going to have to be sacrificed in favour of the other."

Ad News noted that news and magazines could become more favourable in the advertising mix as the cost per thousands impressions would decrease, but cautioned that there were still several unknown factors, including how much EMMA would cost media agencies and owners.

Among the leading newspapers, EMMA data indicated that 55% more people read the weekday print edition of the Daily Telegraph than suggested by Roy Morgan data. For The Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald the equivalent uplifts were 47% and 45% respectively.

The most widely read paper, across all formats, was the Sydney Morning Herald, which attracted 4.5m people every month, followed by the Herald Sun (4.1m) and the Daily Telegraph (4.03m).

When considering newspaper inserted magazines, the differences thrown up by the new metric were more varied.

The readership of Melbourne Magazine, for example, more than doubled (+102%) under EMMA compared to Roy Morgan, but for others, including the most-widely read titles of Sunday Style and Sunday Life, the figures were mostly comparable.

Data sourced from Ad News, B&T; additional content by Warc staff