Parameters for measurement & Publication

1. Who can be measured on PAMCo?

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.

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
  • Regional titles (other than the Scottish newsbrands)
  • 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.

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 it 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).

Tagging is ESSENTIAL for digital reading to be measured by PAMCo’s Panel, in order to calculate a target duplication of reading between digital and print for the brand concerned.  Untagged brands can still be included in the PAMCo database, but their print and digital duplications will not be controlled as data will not be available from the Panel to set a target.

2. Measurement rules for newsbrand content sections

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

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

2.1. In-paper sections

Only those newsbrands large enough to be have their print readership estimates published on a 6 month base are eligible to have their supplements and in-paper sections measured.

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. 

2.2. Digital sections

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

3. Publications rules

The following rules are applied for PAMCo data release:

3.1. Print estimates

An unweighted sample of 140 or more over a 12-month period is required for publication on a 12 month base. For reporting purposes the same sample threshold of 140 over 12 months is applied to newsbrand supplements and in-paper sections.

If this minimum of 140 unweighted sample is not reached after 12 months, estimates can still be released if the title achieves 180 unweighted sample after 24 months. However because of the data processing procedures involved, no interim estimates can be released even though the 180 minimum may be achieved after 12 but before 24 months.

If this target of 180 unweighted samples is not achieved after 24 months, no estimates will be released.

Publication on a 6 month base

Titles should move from a 12 to a 6-month base if they achieve an unweighted sample at or above the threshold of 140 for each of two consecutive 6-month periods, July – December and January – June.

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 12 month unweighted sample falls below the threshold of 140 for two consecutive 12-month periods ending June.

Relegation from 6 to 12 month base

Estimates for titles released on a 6-month base will be replaced by estimates based on a 12-month database if the title’s 6-month unweighted sample falls below the threshold of 140 for two consecutive 6-month periods (July-December and January-June).

Elevation from 24 to 12 month base

A title currently published on a 24-month base should move to a 12-month base if it achieves an unweighted sample of 140 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 0.26% for two consecutive 24-month periods


The title achieves an unweighted AIR below 180 for two consecutive 24-month periods.

3.2. 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.