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Digital Editions - Regional Publications

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 Definition

A digital edition is an edition of the print publication published electronically as a unit which once published is, as a principle, inert (i.e. does not change).

 Principles

  1. Prior notification of Digital Edition claims and plans are required

  2. A Digital Edition is sufficiently similar to be considered the same product as the print parent edition

  3. Digital Edition copies are opted in

  4. A Digital Edition is published and available to the consumer

  5. Digital Edition copies must meet requirements of the relevant print category except where varied by this section

  6. Reported by rate, comparing price paid with the print copy price 

  7. Optional metrics/breakdowns can be reported

 

Requirements | Reporting | Guidance


 Requirements 

 1. Prior notification of Digital Edition claims and plans are required

  1.  Digital Edition claims must be audited by ABC Staff Auditors.

  2.  You must register your intention to claim in advance of the publication of the issues as part of the audit is carried out during the reporting period. 

  3. You must provide planned distribution dates in advance and notify us of any changes.

 2. A Digital Edition is sufficiently similar to be considered the same product as the print parent edition 

  1. A Digital Edition must be identified as an edition of a publication reported on the ABC Certificate (the Parent Edition). This means it must carry a logotype/masthead incorporating the generic name of the Parent Edition and be consistent with the general appearance of the Parent Edition.

  2. A Digital Edition is published electronically as a unit and once published is, as a principle inert.

  3. It may be reformatted to suit the different delivery medium. For example: changes in page size or order.

  4. Editorial or advertising may include electronic enhancements or be adapted to take advantage of the medium. For example: pictures replaced with video. 

  5. Compared to the print parent edition:

    1. You can reduce the editorial by up to about 5%.

    2. You can publish additional editorial in the digital edition, up to about 25%.

    3. You must declare editorial changes when submitting your claim to ABC and be able to demonstrate they fall within the permitted parameters.

  6. A digital edition must carry all of the ROP (not classified) advertisements (by number and advertisers) that appear in the parent edition unless agreed otherwise with the advertiser/agency. 

  7. You can sell advertisements for inclusion in the digital edition only. 

  8. If editorial or advertising renders the digital edition illegal for publication the specific advertising/editorial may be removed. In this instance you can ignore the relevant editorial/advertising from your calculations of changes.

  9. Digital editions and their parent edition must be published on or about a common distribution date.

 3. Digital Edition copies are opted in

  1. The individual must have either specifically purchased the Digital Edition, or requested to receive/view it.

 4. A Digital Edition is published and available to the consumer

  1. You must provide ABC with free access to the digital edition for every issue.

 5. Digital Edition copies must meet requirements of the relevant print category except where varied by this section 

  1. Digital Edition copies can be claimed only for specified circulation categories depending on the sector. The requirements of those categories in relation to print copies apply to Digital Edition copies except as varied by this section. 

  2. In relation to all paid categories you must be able to demonstrate the copy has been sold and at what price.

  3. If the purchaser pays less than 20% of the UK print copy price or it is received free:

    1. You must capture their name, postal address and email address. 

    2. You can only claim one Digital Edition copy per individual.

    3. You cannot claim the copy if you have provided a paid or free print copy to the same individual (where known). 

    4. For Corporate Subscription Digital Editions:

      • There must be a contractual arrangement between the purchaser (a third party employer) and the publisher for at least two issues.

      • The copies are purchased by the third party employer for its employees.

      • The claimed quantity must be restricted to those employees that have personally opted to receive/view the Digital Edition. For example: A company takes out a subscription for each of its 100 employees. If only 40 of those employees personally register to receive/view the digital edition then only those 40 copies may be included on the ABC Certificate.

  4. If the purchaser pays at least 20% of the UK print copy price then there is no requirement to provide details of the purchaser. 

  5. In relation to free Digital Edition copies (where applicable):

    1. You must send an email alert to the individual informing them that the issue is available for view/download. 

    2. You must exclude copies where the email alert generates a Hard Bounceback measured at least 24 hours after the email was sent. A Hard Bounceback is where an NDN (Non-Delivery-Notice) such as an SMTP 550 error or other hard bounceback error message is received. 

    3. You must be able to provide evidence of the emails sent and Hard Bouncebacks received.

    4. Recipients may be contacted as part of the audit process.

  6. You must retain and supply us on an issue by issue basis (or as otherwise agreed) a list of individual recipients for each issue (the ‘Total Distribution List’ (TDL)) which includes details of all the recipients of individually distributed print copies and all Digital Edition copies (other than those purchased for 20% or more of the UK print copy price). We must be able to identify the circulation category/type each copy is claimed in. As referred to above, this list should exclude:

    1. Duplicate records (i.e. each individual on the list can only be claimed once - the print copy takes precedence).

    2. Individuals where Hard Bouncebacks have arisen from email notifications for Digital Editions.

  7. You must supply us the claim for Digital Edition copies on an issue by issue basis (or as otherwise agreed). 

Guidance available

 6. Reported by rate, comparing price paid with the print copy price

  1. Paid digital edition copies must be claimed in the appropriate rate band by comparing the price paid with the UK print copy Basic Cover Price (single copy sales) and the UK print copy Basic Annual Rate (subscriptions). Note:

    1. You can ignore the value (or perceived value) of any gifts, or other incentives (including bundled publications or media products that are not claimed for ABC purposes). However cash reimbursements to the consumer must be taken into account (excluding limited low chance lottery style promotions).

  2. If a subscription promotion includes a gift or product that is being claimed for ABC purposes (for example a bundled copy of a publication or access to a paid website) then the price paid must be allocated according to the following, moving down the list until one can be applied:

    1. According to the specific terms of the offer.

    2. Where specific terms are not clear, by pro-rating the price according to the relative prices of the ABC claimed products.

    3. Where the specific terms are not clear and in the absence of a means of pro-rating the price paid, it should be divided equally between the number of ABC claimed products included in the sale.

  3. If a publication’s digital edition copy is sold bundled as a package with the print copy (whether for a single issue or a subscription) then the treatment is as follows: 

    1. Both the digital edition and the print copy can be included in the ABC claim if the price paid for the package exceeds the UK print copy Basic Cover Price (single copy sale) or UK Basic Annual Rate (subscriptions) by at least 20%.

    2. If the price paid for a package bundling a publication’s print and a digital edition is less than 20% above the UK print copy Basic Cover Price (single copy sale) or the UK print copy Basic Annual Rate (subscriptions) then only the print copy can be included in the ABC claim. 

Guidance available

 7. Optional metrics/breakdowns can be reported 

  1. You may make a statement on the Certificate of the average number of additional digital edition copies per issue that have been paid for or requested free (where applicable) by individuals, but which are not included in the ABC claim because a print copy to those individuals has been claimed.  Note: Only one additional digital edition copy per issue per individual can be claimed.

  2. You may report a breakdown of Digital Editions by browser, device or other identifiable and auditable metric.

  3. You may report, in addition to circulation, Publication Active Views for the Digital Edition. The definition and requirements for Publication Active Views are detailed in the ABC Digital Publication Reporting Standards. The definition is reproduced below for your convenience: 

    Publication Active View:

    1. Definition: A single copy of a publication actively opened by a device for viewing.

    2. Principles:

    1.  A minimum of one page of an issue (or a day) opened/served on/to a device.

    2.  Distinct action/event by the end user to view.

      Note: a single action/request which results in both the content being downloaded/made available and the automatic opening of a page of the publication is not considered a distinct action/event. A further distinct action would be required such as opening a second page.

    3.  The view request must be on an issue by issue (or daily) basis. 

 


 Reporting

You will report total average Digital Edition copies as follows, which will be broken out on the ABC Certificate:

  1. By geographical type:

    1. United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland;

    2. Other Countries

  2. By circulation type:

    1. As for print copies, in the same rate bands: [included in the total average circulation figure from periods ending July 2014 onwards]

      1. Single copy sales

      2. Single Copy Subscription Sales

      3. Free Requested Copies

    2. Digital Edition specific:

      1. Corporate Digital Edition subscriptions

  3. [From periods ending July 2014 onwards]: A statement of the total average number of print and Digital Edition copies sold bundled as a package (whether for a single issue or a subscription) where both the print and Digital Edition copy have been claimed (Note: this is only permitted where the price paid for the package exceeds the relevant print copy Basic Cover Price (single copy sale) or relevant Basic Annual Rate (subscriptions) by at least 20%).  

 


 Guidance

 G1. Prior notification of Digital Edition claims and plans are required

No additional guidance.

 G2. A Digital Edition is sufficiently similar to be considered the same product as the print parent edition

No additional guidance.

 G3. Digital Edition copies are opted in

No additional guidance.

 G4. A Digital Edition is published and available to the consumer

No additional guidance.

 G5. Digital Edition copies must meet requirements of the relevant print category except where varied by this section 

  1. Typically to provide evidence of the email alerts to individuals informing them that the issue is available for view/download you will provide system generated proof (such as a notification log of the email alerts sent). This system generated proof would normally need to include evidence of what has been distributed, when and to whom, such as:

    1. Date sent
    2. Time sent
    3. Name of publication
    4. Issue identifier
    5. Email address
    6. Size of file delivered
    7. Addressee identifier

  2. Our testing of email alerts may involve email ‘writebacks’ to individuals on an on-going basis during the reporting period which is why we will ask for information throughout.

  3. Single copy retail sales of Digital Editions via a third party retailer (for example Apple Newsstand, Google, Amazon etc) will be reported in the category Retail Sales (Sale or Return). Single copy sales of Digital Editions direct to a consumer by the publisher will be claimed in the category Single Copy Sales.

 G6. Reported by rate, comparing price paid with the print copy price

  1. The rate band in which single copy sales of digital editions are claimed will be calculated by comparing the price paid against the UK print copy Basic Cover Price. The rate band in which digital edition subscriptions are claimed will be calculated by comparing the price paid against the UK print copy BAR for subscriptions. For example the BAR for a print subscription is £200. Its digital edition is marketed for a subscription rate of £80. For rate band reporting purposes an £80 subscription to the digital edition must be reported according to 80/200 = 40%

  2. Both the digital edition and the print copy can be included in the ABC claim if the price paid for the package exceeds the UK print copy Basic Cover Price (single copy sale) or UK Basic Annual Rate (subscriptions) by at least 20%. For example: If the BAR for a print subscription is £100, then to claim both the print and digital edition copy sold together in a subscription package, the package must be sold for at least £120.

 G7. Optional metrics/breakdowns can be reported

No additional guidance.