Summary of January 2016 U.S. Board Actions

Monday, February 1, 2016

The following are highlights of the actions taken by the Alliance for Audited Media board of directors at its meeting held January 20-22. Updates to AAM’s bylaws and rules are posted on AAM’s website following each board meeting.

Consumer Magazines

New Circulation Category Introduced for Unlimited Access Magazine Programs
Unanimous Consent – Effective June 2016

Over the last three years AAM has reviewed how unlimited-access magazine programs are offered to consumers to determine how best to verify and report their circulation. During this testing period publishers have been able to qualify issues as newsstand sales if the consumer paid for the unlimited-access program and requested a particular magazine participating in the program.

Due to the bundled nature and pricing of these programs, the board agreed to a new circulation category called “Multi-Title Digital Program.” The new circulation category will be included in the June 2016 AAM reports covering the first six months of the year. With the new “Multi-Title” category, publishers will now report these issues as paid subscription sales, not newsstand sales. AAM statements and its online database will also include key usage metrics such as:

  • Average number of total requests by paid subscribers to receive a digital issue
  • Average number of times issues were opened
  • Unique and total opens

Additionally, AAM’s June and December 2016 Snapshot reports will reclassify the comparable 2015 circulation derived from these programs as subscription sales.


Data from New Magazine Statements to Populate Media Intelligence Center
For Information

In February consumer magazine publishers begin reporting data in a new, streamlined report format with the help of AAM’s data filing resources. To help users access this data in the Media Intelligence Center, AAM will host a series of webinars and publish step-by-step tutorials. Visit Media Intelligence Center training section to sign up for a webinar today.


Rule Modification for Association, Organization and Society Subscriptions for Electrical Cooperative Publications

The board endorsed a modification to Rule F 2.4 Association, Organization and Society Subscriptions to change how publications owned and published by electrical cooperative associations can qualify circulation, specifically homing in on how they inform members of the dues allocated for the publication. Publications that meet this criteria can now include a note in the “letter to the editor” section that explains the funds allocated to receive the publication.

Business and Farm Publications

Business Publications Move Toward Timely, Cross-Media Reporting
For Information

In December all business publications reporting digital activity and social media metrics were invited to file data via AAM’s cross-media filing tool and gain added visibility in the Media Intelligence Center. This opportunity was introduced as an intermediary step to having business publications report data via AAM’s API tool, a direct filing capability that is expected to be released this summer.

AAM has been testing the API feed with select business publications to confirm how the data is uploaded and identify any necessary modifications to accommodate cross-channel analyses in the database. Staff shared this development in cross-media reporting with the board and provided them an update on the impending release of the API tool.

Together, these projects are part of a larger push among all AAM divisions to report more timely and relevant cross-channel data and share a greater view of publishers’ brands via AAM’s data ecosystem.

Key Developments

Board Reviews Status of Ongoing Initiatives
For Information

At its recent meeting, the board reviewed and discussed a number of AAM’s ongoing initiatives including:

  • AAM Brand View: AAM is finalizing development of a new online dashboard that empowers publishers to tell their unique cross-media brand story to thousands of advertisers and media buyers. In the coming weeks, AAM will share more about the project and show how publishers can use Brand View to show their marketing influence across channels and empower their ad sales teams with verified media.
  • AAM Site Certifier: AAM is also preparing to launch “Site Certifier,” an innovative tool that was conceived as part of AAM’s and the Institute of Verified Communication’s Global Alliance for Digital Assurance. Site Certifier automatically verifies premium publishers’ key website metrics from Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics. AAM will share more about the new verification process—including its ad fraud, invalid traffic and ad blocking detection capabilities—this spring.
  • Ad Block Detection: AAM is also preparing to launch a new ad block detection capability to help publishers better understand the impact on their digital media properties. The new tool will report ad blocking usage across browsers, locations and devices to better inform content and ad-sales strategies. The service will be available as part of Site Certifier, as well as a standalone option.


Digital Transparency Initiatives
For Information

This past year AAM played a key part in some of the industry’s most significant initiatives for digital transparency and accountability. Mike Zaneis, CEO of the Trustworthy Accountability Group, was a guest at the AAM board meeting where he presented an overview of TAG’s mission and an update on industry progress.


AAM Board Agrees to Two-Year Term Policy for Filling Vacated Positions
Unanimous Consent – Effective January 25, 2016

To remedy the issue of unexpired terms, the board agreed to standardize the length of service for directors elected to fill spots prematurely vacated by the previous director. As a result the board modified Bylaws 4.1 Responsibility, Vacancies and 4.2 Membership Representation to immediately grant all newly elected candidates and incumbents full, two-year terms.


AAM Aligns Bylaws and Rules with “All Access” Program
Unanimous Consent — Effective January 25, 2016

In July AAM launched “All Access,” a comprehensive program that grants clients full access to the Media Intelligence Center at no additional charge. As a result AAM streamlined its pricing and billing and netted its many client invoices into one document. The board approved a series of modifications to the AAM bylaws and rules to reflect these changes.