Newspaper industry calls time on NRS as it plans new audience measurement system

The UK newspaper industry has called time on the venerable National Readership Survey (NRS) which has measured newspaper and magazine audiences since the year dot.

Newspapers are keen to boost their reader numbers by measuring online as well as print audiences (the former are much larger, particularly for papers like the Guardian) and industry marketing body Newsworks has been charged with appointing a ‘strategy consultant’ to oversee the process of moving to a more contemporary system.

NRS has been served with a statutory 18-month notice period.

Newsworks recently announced that the industry had agreed to move to a new media planning and buying model called PATS (Publisher Advertising Transaction System) to make it easier to buy across print, mobiles and tablets. Now it wants the readership figures to go with it.

Unknown-3Newsworks CEO Rfus Olins (left) says: “It is important that we have an audience measurement system that captures the way in which people now consume media. The landscape has changed beyond recognition in the past few years and the pace of change is accelerating. We need to be at the forefront of that change, helping advertisers and agencies make sense of it.

The first step will be to scope the requirements for a system that is robust and will gain acceptance among advertisers and agencies, as well as media owners.”

News UK Commercial MD Paul Hayes says: “This is very timely. This exercise will give us a unique opportunity to consider some of the complex measurement and commercial issues we all face as an industry and to provide a genuinely multi-platform solution.”

Newly-appointed NRS CEO Simon Redican says (bravely): “It is always appropriate for our stakeholders to constantly review their audience measurement requirements. This is increasingly true in a rapidly evolving and complex market and is central to my vision for the organisation. The NRS has already made great progress in delivering a contemporary audience measurement system with the launch of NRS PADD (print and digital data) and the impending launch of mobile and tablet readership measurement data so the NRS will be active participants in this process.”

NRS will work with Newsworks over the transition period.

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