MPA and the ABC audit results



The ABC audits of newspapers and magazines are clearly the measure used in the magazine and newspaper industry. Suppliers, whenever you meet them, almost immediate point to the previous figures and express concern for the coming one. They will often then go on about how the current changes in the audit affect them.

If you want to know what is the first concern of such suppliers look to their ABC audit figures as it will probably tell you.

Yet interestingly, although National newsagent will regularly publish the results, newsagents rarely bother with these figures.

I decided to check it out.

The ABC audit results for 01/July/2005 to 30/June/2006 by category is

So I went over some newsagents databases and came up with my own newsagent comparison. Which is below and if you want more details please click on the picture below.

As you can see the figures look different some by over 200%. Not surprising as there are so many different factors in the ABC audit figures that are irrelevant to retail sales for example subscriptions. Also some magazines may have changed categories in the latest round of changes in the ABC audit methods which may account for why Women’s interest is over while Women’s weeklies is under.

Looking at these figures, I can immediately say certain points. You may want to change your shop fit slightly. The problem is that the two sets of figures are giving different results. For example Men’s lifestyle, if you just took the ABC audit figures it is a good category. Yet look at mine and you would probably say marginal at best.

If these figures are going to be useful to us, we need some industry standard figures. This would not be too hard to do. All you would need is for 30 newsagents to fax a report once a quarter to someone say in the MPA who then spends a morning to add it up.