NRS launching NRS ‘PADD’
The launch of PADD (Print and Digital Data) has been heralded by the NRS as a major step towards understanding the holistic reach of newspaper and magazine brands. Here, SMG asks what implications these developments may have for traditional print titles, and moreover how it will benefit media planners and advertisers in the long-run.
NRS PADD brings together two leading measurement tools: (1) the highly regarded NRS and (2) UKOM – the most robust source for online audience information. These data sets have been fused to breakout combined print-online reach across period intervals of a day / week / month. Whilst fusion techniques are not ideal, they are at present the most accurate way of getting cross-media measurement of this type. Fusion techniques have already proved invaluable in the production of media planning tools such as the IPA Touchpoints survey.
However, there are some limitations, the biggest being the absence of any data for the rapidly growing Tablet/ Mobile market. Unlike Press and Online that have established measurement tools, there are still a number of technical and political issues that prevent there being a consistent, standardized measurement approach for these devices.
What does this mean for print media brands?
Many of the industry headlines have focused on those winners that have come out of the first wave of NRS PADD data:
“The Sun outshines the Mail in first NRS print and online report”
“Guardian has highest combined print and online monthly readership for quality titles”
“NME’s unduplicated print and online reach put at 1.4 million”
Such stories may make for great PR – but what other implications will this have for print brands? These figures go someway to counteract the negative headlines about declining circulations and show that these brands are actually increasing their overall readership through digital channels. As a result we expect to see increased focus from these titles to improve their online products and try and compete for higher ‘net cross-platform’ reach. One of the likely outcomes will be a greater impetus on sales teams to deliver cross-platform opportunities. These will be sold by (1) adding digital/print to an existing plan in order to increase overall net reach or (2) giving advertisers the opportunity to reach a user across multiple touch points. The key benefit for advertisers is that with an independently verified and consistent measurement methodology we will have a greater understanding of the value of cross-platform solutions. With such a resource available, media owner proposals will need to be backed up with more robust statistical data.
What else does this mean for media planners and advertisers?
As an industry we need to understand cross-media relationships and NRS PADD gives us an additional layer of insight into this. However, it is important for us to remember that these brands have distinct online and offline audiences. Furthermore, unlike traditionally loyal print readers, online audiences have been shown to be far more promiscuous when it comes to consuming editorial. Consequently we also need to have an understanding of how users discover and share content through Search, SEO and Social, and the key to cross-media planning will be through ‘joining-the-dots’ across all these disciplines.
Digital was traditionally viewed as a threat to the Press market, when actually it is already evident that both can coexist and even complement each other. What is important to recognize is the different ways in which users engage with print brands. What people want from an online version of a newspaper might not be the same as what they expect from a hard copy (ie. they may read a newspaper for the editorial/ and the website for news).
At SMG, we design Human Experiences by understanding the whole picture; the context, the why, when and where of how users are consuming content. We do not design Experiences at a singular media brand, platform or device level.
The important thing for us is to understand how different media are working alongside other media and their digital counterparts. Research tools like IPA Touchpoints, NRS PADD and BARB’s forays into combining online video and television measurement are going to be vital for brands to understand how this develops as consumer behaviour changes.