Measurement rules and guidance

1. Measurement rules and guidance

Any publisher-owned print or digital brand can apply to have their brand included in PAMCo.  For digital brands this is the case even if there is no corresponding print brand, or the print brand does not have a readership estimate published.

1.1 Print brands

For print publications the key consideration is that display advertising is carried.

Publications which are not normally covered are:

  • Titles carrying only classified advertising, or not carrying advertising at all
  • Trade, business or professional titles, or special-interest titles whose readers are unlikely to be properly represented in the sample
  • Titles aimed primarily at children (aged 14 or under)
  • Titles appearing less often than quarterly, or titles which appear irregularly

There is no minimum circulation requirement for print publications, but a publication must achieve a minimum sample before any data can be released.


1.2 Digital brands

Publisher owned websites that deliver primarily text/visual content, including short videos, as part of the published media sector can be reported by PAMCo.  Sites primarily delivering other types of content, e.g. for listening/extended viewing, as well as store/retailer/membership websites could be part of the overall PAMCo dataset as non-publisher websites.

Since PAMCo digital estimates are provided by Comscore, appropriate Comscore tagging is strongly recommended in order to achieve the best possible estimates, although it is not essential for inclusion in the PAMCo dataset.

Comscore reports digital audience estimates even if brands are not tagged, using weighted estimates derived from their panels.  These estimates can be integrated within the PAMCo database.  However appropriate tagging is highly desirable, as this will improve Comscore’s estimate by ensuring all activity is credited, including activity not covered by Comscore’s panels (e.g. from Android tablets).


1.3 Newsbrand content sections

PAMCo can report the following newsbrand content sections across print and digital:

  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Business
  • Homepage
  • Jobs/Careers
  • Lifestyle
  • Motors
  • News
  • Personal Finance
  • Science & Technology
  • Sport
  • Travel


1.3.1 Newsbrand in-paper sections and supplements

Furthermore, in order to be measured on PAMCo, in-paper sections have to match the following criteria:

  • They need be part of newsbrand weekend editions
  • They need to have prominent and distinct heading, displayed on each page of the section*
  • They need to be at least 2 pages long
  • Their pagination needs to be part of the main paper (sections with their own pagination are regarded as pull out sections and do not qualify)
  • They should appear every week

*In-paper sport sections can be measured even if their masthead is only prompted on one page, as they remain a very recognisable section for most readers and the content of the unbranded pages is clearly about sport. 


1.3.2 Digital sections

Digital content sections that fall under the above categories can be included in the PAMCo dataset if measured by Comscore.


2. Publication rules

The following rules are applied in order for titles to have estimates published by PAMCo:

2.1. Print estimates

An unweighted sample of 100 or more average issue readers over a 12-month period is required for publication on a 12month base. For reporting purposes the same sample threshold of at least 100 readers over 12 months applies to newsbrand supplements and in-paper sections.

If this minimum of 100 unweighted sample is not reached after 12 months, an estimate can still be released if the title achieves 100 unweighted sample after 24 months. However because of the data processing procedures involved, no estimates can be released until the 24 month measurement threshold is reached, i.e. even if a sample of 100 readers is achieved before 24 months have elapsed.

If this target of 100 unweighted readers is not achieved after 24 months, no estimates will be released until such time as the minimum sample of 100 over 24 months is achieved.

Relegation from 12 to 24-month base

Estimates for titles released on a 12-month base will be replaced by estimates based on a 24-month database if the title’s 12month unweighted sample falls below the threshold of 100 for two consecutive 12-month periods ending June.

Elevation from 24 to 12-month base

A title currently published on a 24-month base will move to a 12-month base if it achieves an unweighted sample of 100 or more in the 12-month period ending June.

Cessation of published estimates

A title published on a 24-month base will cease to have published estimates if both the following apply:

The title achieves weighted AIR estimates below the lower confidence limit of 0.14% for two consecutive 24-month periods


The title achieves an unweighted AIR below 100 for two consecutive 24-month periods.



2.2. Digital estimates

Ipsos reports on all entities and platforms that reach Comscore’s Minimum Reporting Standards (MRS) defined for panel data and are available on the MMX or MoMX subscriber interface.  A site can be reported if it has at least 16 unique visitors in the desktop production sample and, in this case, mobile platforms are also reported.  An entity can also be reported if it meets the Mobile MRS of at least 6 raw panellists for an individual platform (Android phones, iOS phones or iPads), even if it does not meet the desktop threshold, but in this case, the desktop audience will not be reported.

In practice, this will tend to mean that the digital monthly audiences reported in the PAMCo dataset will represent at least 10,000 monthly visitors to a site, with the vast majority of publisher sites having monthly audiences of at least 100,000.