Verified Audit CirculationViewPoint
October 2012

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This Month's Features:

Verified Would Like to Welcome...
181 Magazines Launch So Far In 2012
This Holiday, Electronics Lose, Clothes Win
Events Calendar
Holiday Spending Up; Online Research Significant
Online Subscription Management Guidelines

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Verified Would Like to Welcome...

Western news&info, inc.Prescott Newspaper Group
Western News&Info, Inc.
Prescott, AZ
Prescott Newspapers, Inc. is a group of publications distributed locally within Yavapai County, Arizona. The newspaper publications cover local news, including community events, entertainment, sports, business, real estate, classifieds and nationally syndicated features.

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181 Magazines Launch So Far In 2012

MediaFinder.comOne hundred and eighty-one new magazines launched in the first nine months of 2012, according to, an online database of U.S. and Canadian publications owned by Oxbridge Communications. This figure reflects an optimism that appears to defy the tough print advertising environment.

The number of new launches compares to just 61 titles that closed over the same period.

However, the number of new launches is down slightly from 200 in the nine months of 2011, and the number of closures declined even more steeply in 2012 to date – from 128 in the first nine months of 2011.

As in previous reports from, the new launches were dominated by categories such as regional interest, food and luxury lifestyle titles, including Mud and Magnolias, Prevention Guide Top Chef Family Cookbook, Du Jour and M.

Some of the shuttered titles were digital-only publications, including several magazines created by Nomad Editions for the iPad.

On the B2B side, 25 new titles launched in the first nine months of 2012, compared to 12 B2B titles that closed.

The report comes on the heels of more good news for the magazine business. A positive analysis by eMarketer predicts that digital revenues will lift overall magazine revenues in coming years, despite decreases on the print side.

Thanks to digital advertising's growing contribution, total magazine ad revenues will increase from $18.3 billion in 2012 to $18.6 billion in 2013, $18.8 billion in 2014, and $19 billion in 2015, per the eMarketer forecast.


© MediaPost Communications 2012

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This Holiday, Electronics Lose, Clothes Win

ShopperTrakWith a solid back-to-school season behind them, retailers are ramping up for the holiday period, and a new forecast from ShopperTrak is predicting a good one.

The Chicago-based company, which analyzes foot traffic as well as sales at leading malls, says it expects that U.S. retail foot traffic will climb 3.3% in November and December, with actual sales getting a 2.8% bump.

It expects apparel – a perennially popular category for gifts – to be especially strong, with sales rising 4% and foot traffic advancing 3.5%. Things won't be so busy in the electronics aisle, however. ShopperTrak expects a steep 8% decline in foot traffic, but a 1.5% rise in sales. (In part, the company says that's due to consumers increasingly buying electronics and appliances online.)

While November and December typically account for 20% of annual retail activity, this year's calendar is providing stores with a number of lucky breaks including a 32-day stretch between Black Friday and Christmas – the longest possible, with a few extra weekend days, as well. And Hanukkah falls 11 days earlier this year, which might goose sales earlier in the season.

The presidential election will likely factor in, it says, with consumers shopping less before the election (there was a decline of 6.3% in 2008), then headed back to stores once the ballots are counted.

ShopperTrak's prediction, it points out, follows 34 (of the past 35) months of year-over-year U.S. retail sales growth and is a far jollier prediction than last year, when foot traffic actually declined 2.2% from the prior year.

"Retailers have reason to be optimistic about this season. Foot traffic is increasing, and month-over-month sales continue to be better than expected," writes ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin. "Consumers are visiting more stores than last year. This influx of traffic will present opportunities for retailers to convert these visitors into buyers, especially with the extended holiday shopping season."


© MediaPost Communications 2012


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Events Calendar

Event CalendarNAM Legislative Conference
December 2 – 4, 2012
Arlington, VA

MPA Digital: Social Media
December 5, 2012
New York, NY

NAA: Transformational Communities
December 7, 2012
Arlington, VA

Maggie Awards Deadline for Entry
January 18, 2013



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

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Holiday Spending Up; Online Research Significant

According to the PriceGrabber first winter holiday shopping survey, 50% of consumers plan to spend the same amount during the 2012 winter holiday shopping season that they spent last year, up slightly from 48% in 2011. Among survey respondents, 12% plan to spend more, a positive increase compared with 7% last year; 54% expect to spend $500 or more.

Of those consumers who indicated that they will spend more money this holiday season compared with last year, 42% said they are making more money this year, 34% attributed their decision to better prices on gifts, 22% said they have confidence in the economy, 13% said they will spend more due to increased credit limit, and 8% are tired of being frugal.

An increase in prices for food, gas and other necessities is the reason why 62% will spend less money on holiday shopping in 2012, 41% indicated that they are earning less money this year, and 39% said they planned to spend less due to an increased acceptance of giving less-expensive gifts. The report says that 64% of shoppers say the economic climate will affect their overall spending.

Stores Preferred by Holiday Shoppers

Shoppers expect to find a holiday bargain this season, as 67% of consumers said retailers will offer better prices and discounts this year. When asked what retailer tactics will entice consumers to buy a product this holiday season, respondents broke out like this:

  • 77% of respondents indicated free shipping
  • 74% noted price cuts
  • 55% said coupons
  • 44% indicated blowout sales

Rojeh Avanesian, Vice President of Marketing and Analytics, PriceGrabber, stated "...59% of consumers plan to start shopping even earlier this year compared to 53% in 2011 [and] 17% of consumers plan to start their holiday shopping in September and 31% plan to begin in October."

Consumers' Planned Top Gift Selections

More shoppers will use the Internet to conduct research on products and pricing before making holiday purchases, said the report. Some 88% of respondents indicated that they will research their holiday gift purchases in advance to find the best deals. Of those respondents:

  • 38% plan to spend 3 to 6 hours researching holiday gift purchases
  • 29% plan to spend up to 2 hours
  • 19% plan to spend over 10 hours
  • 14% plan to spend between 7 and 10 hours

Respondents expect the best holiday deals to be:

  • 33% said after the Thanksgiving holiday
  • 28% said Black Friday
  • 23% said the month of December
  • 16% said Cyber Monday

Avanesian concluded that "Consumers are still budget conscience and will continue to do their research [to] find deals, compare prices, set price alerts, print coupons, and take advantage of online promotional codes and free shipping."


© MediaPost Communications 2012

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Online Subscription Management Guidelines

Many publications are implementing online subscription forms. The guide below is intended to provide publishers and fulfillment services some operating guidelines for the acquisition and requalifications of Direct Request subscriptions through the use of online subscription forms.

Online/digital fulfillment systems manage and process online subscription requests by providing an interface or portal linking to an internal subscription fulfillment system or fulfillment company. Subscriptions can be entered as Direct Request from Recipient, Direct Request from Recipient's Company, or as an Association/Group/Directory. It is recommended that online systems standardize as many fields as possible (i.e.: state, country, business industry) and that publishers use this document as a guideline before creating an online subscription portal.

Minimum Required Fields for Subscriber / User Interface (Subscription Form / User Portal):

  • Name
  • Company Name (if applicable)
  • Title (if applicable)
  • Mailing Address (street, state, country fields) and/or email address
  • Personal Identifier
  • Term
  • Payment or Subscription Offer
  • Business Industry Classification (if applicable)
  • Job Title Classification (if applicable)
  • Username and Password (if applicable)
  • Active "Opt-in" to Receive the Publication or Requalify/Renew
  • Subscription Delivery Method: Print, Digital, Both
  • Newsletter Request/Opt-In (if applicable)

Minimum Online System/Publisher Back-end Requirements:

  • All Minimum Required Fields Above
  • Unique Subscriber ID
  • Subscription Start/Create Date
  • Subscription End Date
  • Payment History (a minimum of three years)
  • Subscription Renewal History (a minimum of three years)
  • Log-in History (if applicable)
  • Subscription Source Codes or Promotional Code
  • Screenshots or link to the original subscription offer/portal
  • Database must be able to export all required fields for analyzed audit issue as it was at time of delivery.
  • Verified must be granted access during the audit process to independently view subscriber records and reports and view the functionality of the online system.

Note regarding analyzed issue: Audit files must be maintained throughout the audit period. If the system overwrites the database each time an issue is served, please talk to your audit manager about the measures that may need to be taken to ensure the proper export of the subscriber database for the analyzed issue.

Things to take into consideration when incorporating an online/digital subscription-management system:

  • Make sure those who are going to be using the back-end of the system on a day-to-day basis are involved as much as possible. Talk to circulation staff about the process of importing your existing circulation database before implementing an online system. If the web-based subscription fulfillment system is importing into an existing database clarify which fields are required for audit purposes.
  • Take into account user error. To minimize human error, standardize as many fields as possible. State, country and job title are some common fields that can be standardized.
  • Always record a personal identifier for non-paid (free) subscriptions. A unique personal identifier is required ever year.
  • Allow for different types of proof of payment: credit cards, checks and wire transfers.
  • Prepare for subscribers to come from other sources besides the online requester portal/form such as telemarketer requests, association lists, and third-party sponsorship. Creating a process to handle these types of requests will aid circulation staff.
  • Make sure your system allows for growth in products and subscriber records. Is there a limit in the number of entries, edits and fields that can be added to the online subscription management system?
  • Will the back-end of the system handle customer service?

Please contact your account representative if you have any questions regarding these guidelines.

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