Verified Audit CirculationViewPoint
May 2012

Subscribe    Back to Home    Past Issues

This Month's Features:

Verified Would Like to Welcome...
Paywalls Proliferate, Most Digital Pros Won't Pay for Them
How To Turn Your Inventory Into a Valuable Commodity
Events Calendar
Updated Information & Resource Guide Available June 1st

Back to Top
Verified Would Like to Welcome...

Northern Logger and Timber ProcessorNorthern Logger and Timber Processor
Old Forge, NY
Northern Logger and Timber Processor is edited for the owners of logging and sawmilling operations in the Northeast and Lake States region. For more than 50 years, the Northeastern Loggers' Association has published this highly respected monthly magazine.


Refractive Eye CareRefractive Eye Care
Ethis Communications, Inc.
New York, NY
Refractive Eye Care provides practical, "how-to" information on both clinical issues and growing an eyecare practice. Articles focus on therapeutic and management topics, with an emphasis on improving both patient outcomes and bottom-line results. Each issue helps comprehensive clinicians expand and enhance their practice by highlighting significant topics in dry eye, contact lenses, cataract surgery, glaucoma, spectacles, retina refractive surgery and ocular therapies. Refractive Eye Care is designed to be a valuable resource for ophthalmologists and independent optometrists.

Back to Top
Paywalls Proliferate, Most Digital Pros Won't Pay for Them

Paywalls Proliferate, Most Digital Pros Won't Pay for ThemWhile the figures may not be indicative of broader consumer behaviors, over half of digital media professionals who encounter online paywalls say they immediately leave the website, according to a DigiCareers survey cited by eMarketer. However, there was some good news for online publishers, as a substantial number said they looked into the details of access and pricing.

Overall, 52% of digital media professionals surveyed by DigiCareers said they immediately leave a site after encountering a paywall, while 22% said they delete their cookies or try to find some other way to get the content for free. Nine percent said they ask to borrow a username and password from a friend or colleague; these figures probably overlap.

However, 42% said they actually explore the paywall pricing and at least consider a purchase decision. Furthermore, just 25% of the digital media pros said they developed a negative brand perception about a media company as a result of encountering an online paywall.

In terms of expectations, 90% of digital media pros said they expect to get access to at least some free content before being asked to pony up. Even more significant for publishers and advertisers, 63% said they expect no ads once they have paid for access – although 61% said they would accept ads inside the paywall if it keeps prices down.

Less than half – 42% – agreed that paywalls are essential for publishers to provide high content and services – perhaps the same cohort which was at least willing to consider paying for access.

The bad news for news publishers: digital media pros were far more willing to pay for entertainment content than for news: 47% paid for movies, 36% for digital magazines, and 35% for music, compared to just 13% for news and newspapers.

The news comes as more U.S. newspapers establish – or consider establishing – online paywalls for their content. On Wednesday, an internal memo from McClatchy Co., which publishes The Miami Herald among other papers, revealed that company's plans to implement paywalls at most of its newspapers using the Press+ system. The list of other major newspapers that have adopted or are in the process of adopting paywalls to date includes The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and Baltimore Sun, along with around 80 community newspapers owned by Gannett Co.


© MediaPost Communications 2012

Back to Top
How To Turn Your Inventory Into a Valuable Commodity

Bottled Waterby Bill Rowley

Everyone needs water – and, not that long ago, we used to get it for free. But I'll go out on a limb and guess the last time you quenched your thirst with some refreshing H2O, it wasn't from the tap. Most of us have grown accustomed to purchasing bottled water, whether it's an economy brand or some esoteric brand touting water from the oldest glacier in the world. The bottom line is, we're fueling a billion-dollar industry profiting from something that is essentially free and abundant.

This is where publishers can learn a valuable lesson.

Digital media inventory is a lot like water: abundant and, if not free, increasingly inexpensive. Whether it's being given away as a value-add or being sold for just pennies, as an industry we're drowning in undifferentiated inventory.

According to a study by Ignition One, CPM rates for online display advertising have fallen 23.4% year-over-year despite a healthy 21.0% increase in ad spend. The advertising industry is clearly experiencing a severe supply-and-demand imbalance. Based on comScore figures, 2012 should see 4 trillion display ads served. There's simply not enough demand to fill those impressions, and prices are falling. The solution to date has been to create additional inventory to make up the difference, a tactic that's not working. However, if publishers follow the lead of the bottled water industry, they will see a better approach.

Just as water morphed from the tap to Perrier, advertising has gone from standard display to rich media. The inventory is the same, but the packaging has changed; it's more engaging and cooler. And it's worth more. Publishers can follow some of the same steps the bottled-water companies employed when making consumers not think twice about spending hard-earned money for water.

1. Remove the impurities: The first big marketing push for selling bottled water was that it was better because all harmful impurities were removed. Similarly, publishers can remove the impurities around their sites. By cleaning the clutter and placing ads next to relevant content above the fold, performance will increase.

2. Packaging: Stroll through the bottled water aisle, and you'll find options that are almost like sculptures. Elaborate bottle designs and artistic images are designed to grab consumers' attention and imagination. Like the designer bottle, ads come packed with many eye-catching layers that are made to engage users. High impact units like IAB's Rising Stars offer sight, sound and motion. Whether it's video, photo galleries, or interactive maps, these units are packaged as more then a standard static banner ad.

3. Customization: There's a water variety for every lifestyle and every taste. From vitamin-enriched varieties to sports-themed bottles to energy water, the bottled water manufacturers have a product that targets every type of demographic. Publishers should also be able to target any type of audience. Leverage your audience data and build rich audience segments for advertisers looking to reach a specific audience. You can segment your readers by demographics, behavior, psychographics or other custom segments that increase the value of your available inventory.

4. Influential: The bottled water craze had a time when it was about feeling exclusive, sophisticated and classy drinking a Perrier or an Evian. As more and more people began buying bottled water, celebrities were used to sell specific brands and everyone wanted to be like the influential personalities pushing the product. You can turn your own ad inventory into an influential tool by building social media sharing plug-ins into your creative. This helps create a social chain reaction of additional eyeballs viewing a particular ad, and ultimately your website. The benefit is not only the recommendations but also the ability to share and to accumulate those recommendations so that someone outside the social network of the viewer can find it.

5. Tell a story: There are a number of varieties of water that try to tell a story to the consumer: what far off land it comes from, how old the water source is, etc. The product is tied back to a compelling story. Your ad inventory should be tied to original content. Work with your editorial team to produce engaging content that can be sponsored by a relevant brand. Advertisers want to be part of the story.

The above is pretty basic marketing – differentiate your product. But the rewards are still out there for the publishers who do these basic things well. Think about it the next time you pay $4 for a SmartWater.

© MediaPost Communications 2012


Back to Top
Events Calendar

Event CalendarAPF Convention
July 5 – 7, 2012
York, Prince Edward Island, Canada

2012 Southeastern Press Convention
July 5 – 7, 2012
Miramar Beach, FL

Yale Publishing Course –
Leadership Strategies in Magazine and Digital Publishing
July 15 – 20, 2012
New Haven, CT

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


Back to Top
Updated Information & Resource Guide Available June 1st

Verified Audit Circulation is releasing an updated version of its Information & Resource Guide shortly. The new guide will be available on Verified's website starting June 1, 2012.

The updated guide includes information on auditing replica and non-replica digital editions, social media and apps.

To download the new guide go to Click on Members and then Procedures & Regulations. The Information & Resource Guide is password protected.

If you have questions regarding the guide, please contact Verified at 415-461-6006.


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

2012 Verified Audit Circulation