Verified Audit CirculationViewPoint
June 2011

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This Month's Features:

Verified Would Like to Welcome...
Event and Tradeshow Distribution Can Now Be Qualified
Snapshot of Small Business Confidence
Small Papers Lead the Way on Paywalls
Events Calendar
Tips & Techniques: Successful Free Bulk / Target Distribution

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Verified Would Like to Welcome...

Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles is a breeding ground for artists, entertainers, designers and anyone with a creative mind and passion to express their ideas.

LA CANVAS is a free lifestyle publication that connects its 21- to 35-year-old readers to this flow of innovation by showcasing the latest and most exciting offerings to emerge from the city's visionaries.

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Event and Trade Show Distribution Can Now Be Qualified 

Paywall!Verified Audit Circulation has modified their guidelines to allow publishers to qualify one-time distribution of publications at events and trade shows.

In the past, copies distributed through exhibitions, seminars, conferences, sporting or other events were considered non-qualified circulation, depending on a publication's frequency.

"Verified recognizes that the distribution of copies at events are a way for publications to reach their targeted audience," said Verified CEO Tim Prouty. "Verified aims to provide our clients with a whole audience approach to auditing circulation by including multiple channels of distribution. Adapting rules to include the distribution at trade shows helps our clients incorporate events that drive subscriptions and brand recognition."

Average qualified trade show distribution will be included in the audit report, along with a detailed list of events, dates, locations and number of copies distributed.

"Almost every month, we print extra copies of OffBeat for special events around the city, and even out of town. We're excited that Verified is now including our special distribution in our audit statement," said Jan Ramsey, Publisher of OffBeat, a music and entertainment publication in New Orleans.

The inclusion of event and trade show copies will not just affect consumer publications but also B-2-B and Industry publications audited by Verified.

"We are very excited about Verified's qualification of trade show distribution," said Professional Mariner Publisher, Alex Agnew, whose December 2010 audit benefited from the qualified trade show modification. "With professional mariners often being out at sea, trade shows are another way for us to reach our audience. Our advertisers want and value this type of exposure."

To qualify trade show distribution, publishers must distribute the current issue at a trade show or event; back issues cannot be qualified. Qualified trade show circulation may not exceed the number of trade show / event attendees.

Verified is asking publishers who wish to qualify their trade show distribution to maintain documentation of numbers of copies printed and distributed to the event, provide trade show contact information and verification that copies were received. Returns from the trade show / event must be tracked. Only net copies (gross copies less returns) will be considered qualified circulation. At Verified's discretion, additional field survey work may be conducted.

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Snapshot of Small Business Confidence

Newspapers Deliver, Consumers Take ActionAccording to the MerchantCircle quarterly Merchant Confidence Index for the second quarter of 2011, local merchants say that business optimism is holding steady, following the jump in economic sentiment in the previous quarter. The current MCI score is 63.2, similar to the score from the previous quarter of 63.5.

"The optimism remains cautious, tempered by slight declines in perceptions of economic improvement over the next 12 months, and in hiring," said Darren Waddell, Vice President of Marketing at MerchantCircle.

Key survey findings include:

  • 57% of small business owners expect revenue to "improve" or "slightly improve" over the next three months, unchanged from the previous quarter.
  • When asked to rate the economy compared with 12 months ago, the percentage that believed it had stayed the same or improved dipped to 64% this quarter from 70% last quarter.
  • Over the next three months, 90% of merchants expect to keep headcount the same or plan to add jobs to their businesses, down slightly from the previous quarter, when 92% of merchants expected to maintain or increase headcount.
  • Small business owners will continue last quarter's trend in marketing and advertising expenditure, with 85% of small business owners expecting to increase or keep marketing expenditure the same over the next three months, compared with 84% in the previous quarter.

This survey was fielded online, between April 30 and June 6, 2011, and sent to a random sample of MerchantCircle's member base of over 1.6 million local business owners. Responding businesses classified themselves as legal and financial services, automotive, health and beauty, entertainment, travel and more, with 78% of respondents employing fewer than five people. The overall index score is based upon a standardized five-level Likert scale.

© 2011 MediaPost Communications

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Small Papers Lead the Way on Paywalls
New survey says bigger papers charge less often for online content

By D.M. Levine

Newspapers Deliver, Consumers Take ActionThe New York Times paywall may have grabbed all the headlines over the past month, but the real story in online journalism appears to have been buried beneath the fold.

It turns out small newspapers are taking the lead in charging for online content.

The University of Missouri School of Journalism recently interviewed hundreds of daily newspaper publishers and found that 46 percent of papers with a circulation under 25,000 per week say they charge for at least some of their online content. By contrast, only a quarter (24 percent) of newspapers with a circulation of more than 25,000 charge for any content.

If one of those is your hometown rag, don't get complacent just yet. A third (35 percent) of the papers that don't currently charge say they have plans to do so, and another 50 percent "may begin charging at some point." (Fifteen percent of those polled say that they had no plans to put up any sort of paywall.)

"Usually, you think the big boys will lead the way," says the j-school's Michael Jenner. "There was so much build-up to The New York Times' pay model. And when they finally rolled it out, a lot of people in the industry were watching that. But it wasn't like the smaller newspapers were waiting for the Times to get its act together. Small papers are more nimble."

Nimble or no, the survey also found that smaller papers are less likely to jump on the mobile bandwagon. Only 25 percent of those small newspapers surveyed have a phone app (compared to 62 percent of big newspapers), and only 9 percent of small papers have a tablet app (compared to 39 percent of large dailies).

Interestingly, 60 percent of publishers expect digital revenue to represent more than 15 percent of their papers' total revenue stream in three years.

The vast majority of those papers polled – 77 percent – had circulations under 25,000, meaning that the survey was skewed in that direction, according to Ken Fleming at the Universality of Missouri. (Fleming also said that this was because the research team had much more luck getting small paper publishers on the phone.)

But Jenner pointed out that, nationally, there are many more small papers than large papers, and that the survey results still gave an accurate depiction of the market. As for whether the paywalls will help stanch the bleeding, Jenner said "It's not going to offset their print revenue losses. It may be a trickle, but at least it's a stream of something."

© AdWeek 6/3/11

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Event CalendarEvents Calendar

National Association of Black Journalists
Convention and Career Fair
August 3 – 7, 2011
Philadelphia, PA

Association for Education in Journalism
and Mass Communications Convention
August 10 – 13, 2011
St. Louis, MO

Asian American Journalism Association
22nd Annual Convention
August 10 – 13, 2011
Detroit, MI

World Association of Newspapers Study Tour:
Digital Revenues and New Business
August 29 – September 3, 2011
New York/Washington

If you have an event that you would like to announce, please send your information

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Tips & Techniques: Successful Free Bulk / Target Distribution

Distribution is as important as any other part of your business. Give it the attention it needs and you will increase readership, build reader and advertiser loyalty, and enhance your reputation in your community.

Connect With Your Community

  • Match distribution locations to your readers' lifestyles (your sales and distribution staff can help)
  • Keep racks well maintained and attractive
  • Keep papers clean and neat untie bundles and make sure there is no litter or old copies
  • Deliver on time every week
  • Make sure your delivery staff is courteous and professional

Advertisers are readers and community members. Many distribute the paper at or near their businesses. Your distribution practices have a big influence on their impression of your publication. Local advertising success leads to national advertising success. The effort you make with local advertisers will support your regional and national advertising sales.

Impress Advertisers

  • Be where your advertisers' customers are
  • Be on time
  • Get quantities right
  • Be neat and professional
  • List advertisers / distribution points in your publication

Your distribution policies and practices are the key to your success. Maximize the value of your investment in sales, production and printing with excellent distribution.

Please send comments and story ideas to or contact us at:

Verified Audit Circulation
900 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 295
Larkspur, CA 94939-1758
415.461.6007 fax

2011 Verified Audit Circulation.