July 21, 2015 Last Updated 1:52 pm

AAM board signs off on new product initiatives for US & Canadian newspaper publishers

As newspapers and magazines expand their brand building efforts through web publishing and other digital media offerings, it becomes more and more important for titles to present themselves as brands offering the widest possibly audiences – at least, it is important if they hope to compete againt digital native media brands with massive audiences. This is partially the reason the MPA has pushed its Magazine Media 360°.

The Alliance for Audited Media (AAM), formerly known to old timers like myself as the ABC, realizes this and has announced some new initiatives designed to allow publishers to present “the breadth of their multimedia brands in one trusted place.”

For me, the key to the success of these initiatives will be that they do not lead to the elimination of some of the things markets count on with the AAM – and I doubt they will. It is still vitally important to be able to examine the popularity, for lack of a better term, of a media brand over time. This may mean looking at data that does not give one the whole picture, but it gives on an accurate picture.

Here is the AAM’s announcement:

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – July 21, 2015 — The Alliance for Audited Media board of directors reviewed and endorsed a number of new AAM initiatives at its recent meeting, including:

  • Upcoming enhancements to AAM’s database, the Media Intelligence Center, which will significantly enhance the ability of magazine and newspaper publishers to present customized cross-media brand information to thousands of leading media planners and buyers
  • Expanded reporting opportunities for U.S. and Canadian newspapers, and
  • New developments surrounding AAM’s work with the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), a cross-industry organization dedicated to digital accountability and transparency.

AAM-logo“These ventures are representative of the many ways we’re advancing our commitment to client service, innovation and cross-media verification ─ important AAM attributes strongly reflected in our latest client satisfaction survey,” said Tom Drouillard, AAM CEO, president and managing director.

According to the findings presented to the board, over the past six months AAM has shown significant improvements in customer service, adapting to change, product development and helping clients. A majority also said AAM should be more involved in cross-media verification and combatting online ad fraud.

“Supported by this feedback, we plan to progress our role as a provider of essential information services and an impartial contributor to the development of the standards and guidelines that ensure trust, transparency and brand safety within the digital ecosystem,” Drouillard said.

Upcoming Media Intelligence Center Enhancements
AAM is developing a series of enhancements to the Media Intelligence Center, including a new reporting interface, “AAM Brand View,” that will provide all publisher clients with the opportunity to demonstrate the breadth of their multimedia brands in one trusted place. In the coming months, AAM will share more about the project and how publishers can take advantage of the dynamic reporting interface to tell a full brand story.

Key Newspaper Actions
The board recently moved forward with two new opportunities for U.S. and Canadian newspapers.

AAM Explores Survey Program for U.S. Newspapers
AAM is considering adopting a survey methodology that would allow newspaper publishers to more easily qualify and report their Sunday Select-type products. Currently, as part of the audit process, publishers are required to obtain a request from each designated household to confirm their willing participation While this request is valid for the life of the delivery service, an analysis of the age of the request documentation must be made within the audit report. The NAA/AAM Audience Metrics working group and AAM staff are currently working together to develop a survey-based qualification process and will provide the board with a progress report at its meeting in October.

Quarterly Reporting Expands to Canadian Newspapers in 2016
The board agreed to expand quarterly reporting to all Canadian newspapers in 2016 to provide timelier marketplace metrics that sync with other industry audience reporting initiatives. Canadian publishers are expected to begin reporting full, quarterly circulation and optional cross-media metrics via a new interface in July 2016. AAM will provide more information about the transition to quarterly reporting in Canada in the coming months.

AAM/TAG Collaboration
Over the last several months, AAM has worked with staff from the Trustworthy Accountability Group to revise and expand the IAB’s existing Quality Assurance Guidelines (QAG) – now under TAG management ─ in a way that will bring added transparency and accountability to the digital ecosystem. TAG is getting ready to release the next wave of updates to these newly renamed Inventory Quality Guidelines (IQG), drafted by AAM, including new minimum requirements for ad tech companies, publishers, ad agencies and marketers. The new guidelines will also bring added transparency to programmatic media buying and selling process, and will require companies to undergo third-party validation to achieve TAG certification. More information is available on the TAG website.

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