When two worlds collide off-line measurement of on-line readership

Most publishers now offer online versions of their major publications and increasingly there is a need to identify the unique audiences to each vehicle to optimise the product and therefore audience development. Furthermore, the likelihood is that many publishers will offer advertising packages that include both online and traditional printed editions – under these circumstances it will be essential to identify online and what, for the purposes of this paper, I’ll call “offline� readership duplication, net coverage and frequency. This in turn necessitates an accepted measure of online reading that can be analysed alongside traditional print readership measures. The feasibility and apparent benefits of metered online audience traffic measurement are driving the creation of large-scale panels in most countries. However, such panels are not without their limitations. They only cover the Internet Population and, more seriously, the difficulty of placing meters on PCs in the workplace (due to employer network restrictions) is leading some publishers to believe that total audiences to their online publications are being seriously under-reported by the metered data.

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