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New company to be created for audience measurement of newsbrands and magazines

The Publishers Audience Measurement Company (PAMCO) will next year replace the National Readership Survey Ltd. (NRS) as the organisation which oversees the audience figures for newspapers and magazines.

The creation of PAMCO signals a new approach to reflect today’s multi-platform media landscape. Simon Redican is to be CEO-designate of the new company.

David Wheldon, head of brand, reputation and citizenship at Barclays Group, said: “This is a big leap and very welcome. It represents the biggest change to the measurement of audiences for newspapers and magazines for more than 50 years and it means that we will have access to numbers that reflect the complexity of today's readers.”

PAMCO has also started the search for its inaugural chair, who will be a key appointment for the organisation and its stakeholders, which include the bodies representing newspapers, magazines and advertising agencies.

The shortlist for the audience measurement contract consists of three research providers. They have been asked to submit bids for a future-facing system, which takes account of the growing number of devices and platforms. The successful research provider will be announced later this quarter.

Steve Goodman, managing director of print trading at GroupM, said: “This is an exciting and welcome initiative. More comprehensive audience measurement data will allow us, on behalf of our clients, to create media plans that capitalise on everything that newsbrands and magazines have to offer. In particular, it will allow us to make better use of their scale and depth of engagement across all platforms.”

A shadow PAMCO board has already been established. Chaired by Rufus Olins from Newsworks, its members include David Newell and Teresa Brookes from the NMA, Barry McIlheney from the PPA, Sue Todd from Magnetic, Jane Ratcliffe from MediaCom, Lynne Robinson from the IPA and Simon Redican.

Redican, currently CEO of the NRS, said: “The launch of the Publishers Audience Measurement Company (PAMCO) next year will be a landmark event and I really relish the challenge of creating something new and exciting to represent today’s innovative published media sector. The stakeholder review of audience measurement was started within weeks of me joining NRS nine months ago and I can reassure the industry that the NRS will continue to deliver until the process is complete and will effect a seamless transition to the new industry audience measurement solution.”

When the new organisation is created, its board will be run by an independent chair and include representatives from key magazine and newspaper companies, as well as ISBA, IPA, PPA/Magnetic and Newsworks.

The Advisory Group, chaired by Jed Glanvill and run by Mediatique, is currently assessing the proposed approaches of the final three potential research providers.

The NRS will continue to run until the new system has been approved by the PAMCO board. The changeover will take place in 2016.