How Apple News+ Impacts AAM Reporting

March 28, 2019

Apple has a new subscription service for magazines, how will those copies be reported in AAM data?

George Bartman, Vice President, Sales


Apple recently announced a new subscription service featuring more than 300 popular magazines, newspapers and digital publishers in a curated experience within the Apple News app.

AAM and our board of directors have worked with Apple to understand how magazine media would be created and presented in the new app, and we wanted to share some information about how these issues may qualify for AAM.

The Apple News+ service requires publishers to submit their content via a predesigned template. The template offers some flexibility and allows publishers to create replica digital editions that meet AAM digital reporting requirements for inclusion in rate base. Publishers may also use the template to create issues that do not meet AAM standards, so I wanted to take this opportunity to review some of AAM’s digital reporting requirements for including digital magazines in total circulation and rate base:

  • The layout of the magazine may be reformatted for the medium but all editorial, photography and advertising content must be consistent with the print issue. Content may be enhanced for the digital audience.
  • All advertisers in the print issue must receive the opportunity to appear in the digital issue except for fractional ads of one-third page or smaller, house ads, classified ads, and tactile enhancements such as scent strips or glossy presentation.
  • Activity pages such as crossword puzzles, number puzzles and quizzes are not required in the digital issue.

A digital issue meeting the above requirements will qualify as a digital replica edition and may be reported as total circulation and included in rate base on AAM reports. Digital issues that don’t meet the above requirements are still eligible for AAM reporting as a digital nonreplica edition but are excluded from total circulation and rate base totals.

Digital unlimited access magazine programs such as Apple News+ are classified as paid subscriptions – multi-title digital programs on AAM reports. AAM reports also disclose the average number of total requests by paid subscribers to receive a digital issue, the average number of times issues were opened and unique and total opens. The AAM Canada board will review the qualification requirements for multi-title digital programs at their meeting this summer.

I hope you found the above information helpful in better understanding how the new Apple News+ issues will be reported. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me, Angie Sanna in Canada or your audit manager.

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