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NRS is dead, long live PAMCo

National Readership Survey (NRS) was the gold standard in press readership research for over 60 years, however latterly it had struggled to keep pace with the changing digital world. That started to change just over 3 years ago when Publishers Audience Measurement Company (PAMCo) won the contract to take over from NRS.

While NRS was built around the printed publication, PAMCo starts with the title’s brand at its centre, encompassing all the ways it is consumed and providing a more rounded measurement of its readership. So, we can have readers of Cosmopolitan on Instagram not even realise there is a printed product.

In fact, the new data is already helping to combat some believed ‘truths’ that print is dead. PAMCo data shows that over 91% of adults aged 15+ read a print brand each month; that’s over 48million people. Also, the belief that young people no longer consume press brands have also been knocked, as 91% of 15-34’s read a print brand each month, with 84% of them doing so on their phones.

It’s because PAMCo can measure a de-duplicated audience across print, mobile, tablet and desktop that makes it so strong. With concern over Facebook and Google seen as ‘marking their own homework’ and reaching more people that exist, the fact that this is an independent survey of over 35,000 individuals makes it incredibly robust.

All Response Media viewpoint

Although we welcome this new research, we always balance this against a tried and trusted ‘test and learn’ principle. Building large reach campaigns work well from a brand perspective, but we know that our clients want us to help them build their companies through effective sales acquisition. So even if the research suggests a title is right for our audience, we always make sure this is born out with attributable sales performance. This has always been our philosophy and it isn’t about to change soon.