Various possible solutions were assessed, and the favoured approach was a partnership with an established provider of online audience data. The advantages of this are that there is no disruption to the NRS print currency, and it avoids the expense (and potential confusion) of creating a new online currency.
There are often considerable differences between the website estimates produced by comScore and Nielsen, which make it inappropriate to compare the two. This is because there are differences in the methodology and definitions used by each company.
The NRS PADD released on 18 March 2013, and all subsequent PADD releases for the foreseeable future, use website estimates from comScore and, for the reasons listed above, should not be compared with previous releases of NRS PADD based on Nielsen data.
However, by fusing with comScore for the previous NRS PADD release (January – December 2012 & comScore November 2012) it allows a 2012 comparison point for 2013 subsequent quarterly releases and beyond.
In this case, comScore participants are matched with NRS participants on the basis of shared characteristics (for example demographics and internet behaviour). The comScore data are then transferred to the NRS data, creating a third dataset: NRS PADD.
The fusion is conducted by RSMB, which is a global leader in this field.
In addition to monthly reach, NRS PADD will show weekly and daily reach for websites. It will also show page views and dwell time, the latter providing a useful adjunct to the NRS Time Spent Reading data for print.
The data bureaux have developed multi-media Reach & Frequency tools for NRS PADD which allows users to combine print and website media schedules and see the combined reach of both.
All titles in the print survey that have had readership estimates published for at least 12 months and have affiliated websites can be included in PADD. Publisher-owned websites that do not have an affiliated print title can also be included.
In order for a publisher website to be included in PADD it must:
- Be measured by comScore
- Be a standalone domain with its own URL – it cannot be a sub-section of another domain
- Achieve a minimum comScore monthly sample size of 40
The list of titles and websites in PADD is reviewed each quarter by the NRS Technical Committee, with additions and deletions normally made in January, April, July and October.
In addition to publisher websites, NRS PADD also includes other websites with a sample of 750 or more. This allows users to identify the general websites visited by readers of print titles and publisher websites.
ABC is a very set of different metrics. For printed publications it is the audited number of copies in circulation: it says nothing about the number and type of people of people reading those publications. For websites ABC is reporting analytics for individual websites to an agreed industry standard: these are browser data collected from devices rather than people, so again it is not possible to say how many people have visited a website and the type of people they are.