Verified Audit CirculationViewPoint
November 2014

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This Month's Features:

Common Circulation Questions Advertisers Ask
Cox Relaunches Newspaper Websites
Forbes, adMarketplace Sign Exclusive Search Ad Deal Replacing Google
Google Tests Contributor For Ad-Free Websites
Events Calendar
Tips & Techniques: Qualified Trade Show/Event Copies

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Common Circulation Questions Advertisers Ask

Newspaper Stacksby Jennifer Armor

Circulation plays an important role in advertising decisions, so understanding the various components and key terms of a circulation audit is vital to any discussion between advertisers and publishers. Below are some common questions advertisers may ask and the answers that will help you during your next sales presentation.

What is circulation?
Circulation is the number of copies of a publication that are distributed into the marketplace. It may include copies sold to consumers, copies distributed free of charge or any combination of the two.

Why is circulation audited?
Circulation is audited to validate circulation accuracy based on the number of copies being distributed and sold. Advertisers rely on circulation audits to verify the number of copies distributed and whether or not the number of copies distributed and sold meets their ad campaign objectives.

What is "total average circulation"?
Total average circulation is the average number of copies that are distributed (paid and non-paid). Total average circulation is calculated as follows:

Number of copies ÷ Number of Issues = Total Average Circulation

Individual issues may have a higher or lower distribution than the average circulation presented in an audit report. Advertisers should be aware that there may be differences on an issue-by-issue basis. Special issues, such as "Best of" issues, anniversary issues or issues that will be distributed to special events, should be promoted since these will not be calculated in average circulation.

What is the difference between circulation and audience?
Sometimes questions arise about the difference between circulation and audience. While circulation measures the number of copies, audience illustrates the number of readers of a publication, which is defined as:

Circulation (Average # of Copies) x Readers Per Copy = Audience

Circulation and audience reflect different measurements. Circulation reports information about copies distributed. Audience reports the number of people reading or looking through a publication. These figures are generally different since more than a single person reads each issue. By presenting audience figures, you can compare your publication's reach to other media such as radio or TV.

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Cox Relaunches Newspaper Websites

AJCCox Media Group is relaunching all of its newspaper websites, beginning with its flagship publication, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC). Other Cox publications will follow in coming weeks, including the Austin American-Statesman, The Palm Beach Post and the Dayton Daily News.

The new design aligns the AJC's mobile and desktop experiences, including more emphasis on visuals, integration of social sharing, new neighborhood features, and special topic sections and pages devoted to recreation and leisure activities.

According to Cox, the neighborhood and special topic sections will enable advertisers to target specific audience segments by location and interests.

On the advertising side, the new format will support more premium sponsorship and native advertising placements. Overall, Cox claims that the AJC website attracts more than 15.5 million visits per month.

Cox Media GroupLike other newspaper publishers, Cox has been busy reinventing its legacy properties for the digital age. Last year, Cox partnered with Adpay to create a new classifieds platform that was subsequently rolled out at the AJC and its other newspaper properties.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also recently launched AJC Tickets, a ticket commerce site for local buyers and sellers of Atlanta-based live events. AJC co-branded the site with TiqIQ to offer tickets from PrimeSport, TicketsNow, eBay and TicketCity. TiqIQ also works with Ticketmaster, Ticketfly and Veritix.

Valpak, another Cox Media Group property, introduced an augmented reality app that allows users to locate nearby businesses with coupons by holding their phone up, and also struck partnerships to incorporate digital coupons into mobile wallet services from Apple, Samsung, Google and Windows.

© 2014 MediaPost Communications

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Forbes, adMarketplace Sign Exclusive Search Ad Deal Replacing Google

The effort by adMarketplace to displace Google AdSense on publisher sites continues. The New York-based independent marketplace has added one more exclusive publisher relationship to its coffer. Forbes has signed a deal that allows the search advertising company to match queries with text ads from brand advertisers on


adMarketplace and Forbes


Google has had recent difficulty, losing the search business to adMarketplace and Mozilla Firefox to Yahoo. reached more than 27.5 million unique readers in September, per Compete, Inc. data, ranking 47 on the list of sites. Fifty-three percent of the website traffic comes from general portals and searches that unique visitors share. adMarketplace expects this traffic to drive "exceptional" advertiser results, particularly in the finance and retail verticals.

"It's a bit more like a custom monetization partnership compared with going to a monopoly and taking an ad tag and slapping it on a page," said Adam Epstein, President and COO at adMarketplace.

The custom search monetization strategy means that adMarketplace's creative team works with the brand and product team to build ads that reflect the look and feel of the site to better support its readers, Epstein said.

When asked the total number of ads serving up across its network of publisher sites, Epstein referenced Compete data. "When you look at our Compete data, it's about 100 million unique users that see our ads monthly in the United States," said Epstein. "It's the largest search network outside Google and Yahoo."

© 2014 MediaPost Communications


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Google Tests Contributor For Ad-Free Websites

Google has begun experimenting with a way for websites to generate income without showing display and banner ads on publisher sites in the United States. A service called Contributor allows website visitors to pay a monthly subscription fee to avoid seeing ads.

Google Contributor

While it has not yet been determined whether native or content-related advertising will eventually fall into the category of an ad-free experience, the idea behind the subscription service is to support people who create sites on the web by supplementing a publisher's advertising revenue. Part of the subscription price goes to the creators of the website visited.

Google explains on the Contributor website that, as a reminder of your support, you'll see a thank you message – often accompanied by a pixel pattern – where you might usually see an ad on desktop or mobile. The ad spaces possibly replaced with a "thank you" message must be part of Google's auction.

A Google spokesperson describes the test as "a very limited experiment to gauge interest from publishers and users."

Contributor also has been called a way that publishers can crowdsource funds using a service other than AdSense. Initial partners in the revenue-sharing deal include The Onion, Urban Dictionary, ScienceDaily, WikiHow, Mashable and Imgur. The invitation-only test costs consumers, which Google calls "contributors," between $1 and $3 monthly.

"The publishers participating in the initial test have a small, but highly engaged audience," said Pivotal Analyst, Brian Wieser. "It will be surprising if there is any meaningful pick-up. Publishers will need to opt into the program."

Wieser says there are other networks publishers can use if they want to continue serving display ads on their site. Google's ad network is likely the largest, but it's not the only one.

U.S. advertisers are forecast to spend $22.3 billion for digital display advertising in 2014 – up from $17.6 billion last year, according to eMarketer. About 14% this year belongs to Google.

Overall, U.S. advertisers will spend $141 billion on online ads this year – up 15% annually by 2016, per eMarketer. Google holds about 32.4% of the overall market, followed by Facebook with 8%, Microsoft at 2.9% and Yahoo with 2.4%.

Google's move toward testing subscription services began recently with YouTube. Earlier this month, YouTube announced a subscription service that allows viewers to watch and listen to music ad-free, in the background or offline. YouTube Music Key will cost $9.99 per month. A promotional price of $7.99 per month is being offered until the service officially rolls out next year.

© 2014 MediaPost Communications


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Events Calendar

Events CalendarAdAge: Media Mavens Luncheon
December 3, 2014
New York, NY

Content Marketing Master Class
December 4, 2014
San Francisco, CA

MPA: Meet the Innovator
December 9, 2014
New York, NY

American Society of Magazine Editors National Magazine Awards
Deadline for Submission: December 22, 2014

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


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Tips & Techniques: Qualified Trade Show / Event Copies

Qualified Trade Show / Event CopiesTrade show/event copies are copies distributed through exhibitions, seminars, conferences, sporting or other events.

Trade show/event copies are normally considered non-qualified circulation. However, if the following information can be provided, these copies may be considered qualified circulation:

• Details of the trade show/event, including documentation of purchase of booth space, number of attendees and any attendee demographic information available.

• Distribution records with a complete list of names and addresses of the distribution points and third-party distributors involved in the delivery with details such as the number of copies delivered and distribution dates.

• A list of the number of copies by location or distribution point.

• Financial records, copies of canceled checks, bank statements and other information to provide proof of payment for the distribution and/or receipt.

• Document signed and dated by a representative confirming receipt of delivery at the distribution point, indicating the number of copies received.

• Returns from the trade show/event must be tracked. Only net copies (gross copies less returns) will be considered qualified circulation.

Qualified trade show/event copies must be current issues, not back issues. Qualified circulation may not exceed the number of trade show/event attendees.

At Verified's discretion, additional field survey work may be conducted.

A list of the trade show/events and the number of copies delivered to each must be included in the audit report. An explanation of the method of distribution must be included that states, "Distribution to trade show/event is only audited up to the distribution point and not to the end user," or similar.

If you have questions about your trade show/event copies, please contact Verified at 415-461-6006.


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Verified Audit Circulation
900 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 230
Larkspur, CA 94939-1758
415.461.6007 fax

2014 Verified Audit Circulation