The Audit Bureau of Circulations has provided a life line for struggling magazine publishers in the U.S. and Canada by making it easier and more rewarding to push content and advertising onto Apple’s iPad and other tablet computers that also serve as reading devices.
ABC’s board today announced that it has modified the definition of a digital edition. It no longer has to be a in a layout identical to a print edition. A magazine’s digital version now only has to include the print version’s editorial content and advertising – without being identical in its presentation.
The modification means that publishers can count iPad or other e-reader subscriptions, such as those on Amazon’s Kindle, as part of a magazine’s overall circulation as long as all the same editorial and advertising material is included. And that is crucial for print publishers’ rate base, the circulation they guarantee to advertisers. The rate base helps determine what they charge for ads.