Introduction and Overview

1. What is PAMCo – Audience Measurement for Publishers?

PAMCo – Audience Measurement for Publishers is the audience measurement currency for published media. It produces de-duplicated brand reach estimates allowing users to carry out reach & frequency planning and also plan and trade audiences across all the platforms on which published media content is delivered – phone, tablet, desktop and print.

2. How does PAMCo measure published media audiences?

PAMCo’s methodology integrates print readership and demographic data from a high-quality survey of 22,000 participants per year with digital audience estimates supplied by Ipsos iris.  The PAMCo survey which collects print audience data is based on an ‘online first’ method and includes two phases:

A Postal Phase – where all sampled addresses are mailed and invited to take part either by online or paper self-completion questionnaire.
A Field Phase – where those not completing the postal phase will be invited to take part with a field facilitator recruiting participants to complete the survey.

Ipsos carries out a complex data integration process to fuse the print estimates collected from our survey with digital audience estimates provided by Ipsos iris

Ipsos iris is the new UKOM approved standard for online audience measurement in the UK from January 2021.

3. How can I access PAMCo data?

You can access PAMCo data in 3 different ways:

Topline audience estimates are available through the PAMCo subscriber website
More detailed analysis can be carried out through computer planning bureaux, such as Kantar Media, Nielsen IMS, Telmar, as well as Mediatel and Touchpoints.
There is also an opportunity to obtain direct access to respondent-level data to feed into publisher and agency proprietary tools.

For details on how to subscribe to PAMCo data, please see questions  36 & 37.

PAMCo: the latest Joint Industry Currency

4. What is PAMCo Ltd?

The Publishers Audience Measurement Company (PAMCo) is the governing body which oversees audience measurement for the published media industry.

Our funding stakeholders are Newsworks (representing Newsbrands), Professional Publishers Association (PPA – Magazine Media) and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA – Advertising Agencies). The Board also has representation from The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA).

PAMCo Ltd is responsible for the new Joint Industry Currency (JIC) called PAMCo (Audience Measurement for Publishers) in place of NRS data.

5. What is a JIC?

Joint Industry Currencies (JICs) are owned by the industry – advertisers, agencies and media owners – to provide transparent and objective audience measurement for each medium. These data are produced and sold at cost, providing both industry accountability and a robust trading currency for each medium.

6. What has happened to NRS?

NRS Ltd handed responsibility for governance to PAMCo Ltd, from January 2016.

7. What is the difference between PAMCo & ABC?

PAMCo provides “estimates” of “audiences” to be used for reach and frequency planning, and includes full demographic profiling of who readers are. ABC is the “count” of number of “copies/editions” sold/opened which can be used in planning and trading and offers media owners an independent check of internal reporting systems.

How it all works

8. Why does the PAMCo questionnaire use a brand-first approach?

To reflect the reality that many readers now read across both print and digital platforms and so a questionnaire which focuses on print reading and asks about digital reading separately is no longer appropriate.
To reduce the potential for confusion between print and digital reading (and possible over-claims for print).
To collect claimed readership data for all publisher brands which is then used to provide ‘links’ for the fusion with Ipsos iris digital audience estimates. Claimed digital reading is very different from Ipsos iris estimates, and usually lower, not least because participants will not usually remember all the sites they have visited. There is no intention of publishing the claimed digital behaviour, but it helps to have these data in the background for the data integration process.

9. Why is PAMCo incorporating Ipsos iris digital estimates?

PAMCo incorporates Ipsos iris estimates for digital platforms, rather than issue its own estimates because Published media wish to have a level playing field with all other digital brands in the market. Buyers have told PAMCo this is critical to enable like for like comparisons and it would be unhelpful for PAMCo to release a different and conflicting set of numbers to those issued by the UKOM approved supplier and de facto industry currency.

For information on Ipsos Iris methodology for measuring digital audiences please contact Tasneem Ali on tasneem.ali@ipsos.com or Jing Yeow on jing.yeow@ipsos.com

10. How does the data integration work?

In essence, data integration (also known as fusion) transfers audience estimates based on participants in one dataset to participants in another dataset so that there is a combined dataset that represents the data contained in both, as well as the relationships between variables from different datasets.

In order to do this, the fusion finds the best possible matches between participants in the two datasets in respect of their demographics and behaviour.

For more information on the fusion between PAMCo and Ipsos iris click here (https://pamco.co.uk/how-it-all-works/data-integration/)

11. Are the PAMCo digital audience estimates the same as those Ipsos iris publish?

The data integration procedure is designed to match Ipsos iris published estimates as closely as possible.

Users will, however, notice some differences. Ipsos must align the Ipsos iris and PAMCo universes, as there are some differences (notably that Ipsos iris includes Northern Ireland). While the PAMCo survey data is completely preserved by the fusion process, the Ipsos iris data is slightly distorted but is almost always within +/-5% of the original GB part of the currency at the Total Digital level for monthly audiences.

The profile of the monthly digital audiences will match the Ipsos iris data in respect of age band, gender and grouped regions but will not match for other variables, as demographic data from the Ipsos iris data has been replaced with the demographic data of the fused PAMCo survey participants.  As most variables present in the two datasets will not have been exactly matched at the most detailed level, differences in profile will be observed.

12. What minimum sample do my entities have to reach to be measured and published?

Click here to see the PAMCo Measurement criteria.

Click here to see the PAMCo Publication rules.

13. How does PAMCo methodology compare to other readership measurement currencies around the world?

Throughout the development of PAMCo, the team have been participating in a number of conferences and discussions where audience measurement surveys around the world share best practice and latest developments.

There are some common themes to these developments, for instance:

Adoption of brand-first questionnaire designs
The increasing number of fusions to incorporate passively collected estimates of digital reading
A growing focus on the importance of representing duplication of reading between print and digital.

14. How has PAMCo’s methodology changed to address the current Covid-19 situation?

PAMCo fieldwork was suspended on 17th March 2020 due to the limitations to face-to-face data collection. Following a number of tests during 2020, PAMCo data collection resumed with a new methodology on 29th March 2021 according to the Government roadmap for easing Covid restrictions.  The new methodology is based on an “online first” method and includes two phases:

A Postal Phase – where all sample addresses are mailed and invited to take part either by online or paper self-completion questionnaire
A Field Phase – where those not completing the postal phase will be invited to take part with a field facilitator recruiting participants to complete the survey.

What’s included in the dataset?

15. What is the PAMCo universe?

PAMCo represents a universe of adults aged 15+, living in Great Britain. The weighted universe is 53,927,883 adults for 2021.

16. Which platforms are reported?


17. What is Total Brand Reach?

Total Brand Reach (TBR) is a measure of the reach of all related content for each publisher brand.

TBR definitions can include print entities measured on the PAMCo survey and the relevant digital entities supplied by Ipsos iris.

For more information on Total Brand Reach click here (https://pamco.co.uk/access-to-pamco/total-brand-reach-rules/)

18. What are aggregated entities?

What are aggregated entities?

Aggregated entities are groups of brands that are normally planned and sold as a package. PAMCo has provided audience estimates for aggregated titles for many years.  Going forward it is expected that publishers either individually or collectively will create more aggregated entities which they would like to produce cross platform estimates for. This is a trend across the wider media market, and is welcomed by agency and advertiser customers who often wish to plan and trade audiences in this way.

PAMCo currently reports aggregated entity estimates for The National, Big City & The Ozone Project

For rules about inclusion of aggregated entities in PAMCo please click here.

19. Is reading via apps included, and, if so, how?

PAMCo includes reading via apps. Publisher apps that meet Ipsos iris minimum reporting sample sizes are included in the PAMCo database

20. Does PAMCo include separate estimates for third party platforms such as FBIA, Google AMP, Snapchat and Apple News?

Ipsos iris can include measurements for some of these platforms, currently FBIA, Google AMP and Apple News.  Depending on platform, this may require publishers to make the necessary arrangements with Ipsos and have appropriate tagging in place.  Traffic via these platforms will be included in their overall digital estimates within PAMCo.  Breaking out distributed content estimates within the PAMCo dataset will be possible only if the relevant publishers agree to make the breakdown public in the  Ipsos iris dataset.

21. How are page views calculated for apps and distributed content in the PAMCo dataset?

‘Page views’ is one of the standard metrics that PAMCo has been incorporating for digital entities. However, since the launch of PAMCo, we have been assigning page views to any digital apps reported by PAMCo based on duration, as there are no page views for mobile apps in the UKOM endorsed data (currently Ipsos iris, previously Comscore). This has been necessary in order to:

  • Make digital apps available for R&F planning (as the algorithm works with page views for digital entities)
  • Ensure that there is no audience reach without page views in the PAMCo database
    The formula being used for apps is an allowance of one page view per 30 seconds duration (i.e. 2 page views per minute).

As Ipsos iris allows to break out audiences of distributed content but does not report page views for these entities, it has been necessary to allocate page views to distributed content (currently Apple News only) since Ipsos iris become the source of PAMCo’s digital estimates. During the Bridge period page views were allocated to distributed content in the same way as for all other apps (i.e. 2 page views per minute).

Following a request from stakeholders for greater accuracy and transparency in this part of the audience, aggregated Article Views data supplied by Apple were used to work out a proxy at sector level. From the PAMCo 2 2022 release the following averages have been used to allocate page views to distributed content:

  • 1 article view per minute for all newsbrands
  • 1.25 article views per minute for all magazines.

These factors will be reviewed annually.

22. What is in the PAMCO Questionnaire?

Print readership

For all brands:

Average Issue Readership
Daily reach (only for newsbrands)
Weekly reach
Monthly reach
Read Past Year
Frequency of reading
The four PAMCo frequency codes (Almost Always, Quite Often, Occasionally, Less Often) will be published via the bureaux, but ‘Occasionally’ and ‘Less Often’ will continue to be merged and reported as ‘Only Occasionally’ in top line reports.
Probability of reading (High, Medium, Low) for newspaper supplements and in-paper sections

Engagement data

Source of copy
Time spent reading
Attitude statements

Topic/Sports/News Interest

A list of 48 different topics, including breakdowns for types of news and sport

Future plans

Seven activities planned for the next six months, including obtaining a new car and spending £1,000 or more on home improvements or furnishings
Five financial activities planned for the next six months, including changing bank or insurance provider

Devices used to access the internet in past 30 days

Classification data

Sexual Orientation
Social grade
Main shopper
Marital status
Terminal education age

Working status
Chief Income Earner
Household composition and presence of children
Ethnic Origin
Government Office Region


Other media


Internet usage

23. What is Average Issue Readership?

The key measure of print readership is known as Average Issue Readership or AIR. AIR is the number of people who have read or looked at an average issue of a publication. The definition is based on those who say they have last read a publication within its publication interval, i.e.:

Daily newsbrands Read yesterday
Sunday newsbrands Read in the last 7 days
Weekly magazines Read in the last 7 days
Fortnightly magazines Read in the last 2 weeks
Monthly magazines Read in the last month
Bi-monthly Read in the last 2 months
Quarterly Read in the last 3 months

For daily newsbrands AIR is available for Saturday editions, as well as an estimate for the 5-day weekday edition, and an overall 6-day estimate.

24. What data are included about digital readers?

The data incorporated from Ipsos iris are:

Daily, weekly and monthly reach (Unique Visitors) by platform
Page views by platform
Time spent by platform
Content sections for the newsbrands. It will be possible to analyse these digital sections individually and by 11 content categories: News, Homepage, Sport, Lifestyle, Arts & Entertainments, Personal Finance, Business, Science & Technology, Travel, Jobs/Careers, and Motors.

Using PAMCo in the data bureaux

25. Can I set up favourite runs/cross tabs and use them each time there is a new data release?

From PAMCo 2 2022 data release onwards any favourite/regular runs saved within the PAMCo dataset can be carried forward for each future PAMCo release.

26. When will I be able to trend my data?

The significant changes in method and sample relative to the pre-Covid method have inevitably changed the estimates obtained. Given the level of change, it is not possible to make direct comparisons with pre-Covid PAMCo estimates.

The first release based entirely on new method data will be in June 2022, based on the period September 2020 to March 2022.  From this point trending can begin.

27. Can I run my analysis on a base other than 24 months?

Currently it is not possible to look at any PAMCo data for any periods other than the full survey.

28. Can I do bureaux runs with multiple surveys?

This is possible. Please contact your own planning bureaux for details on how to carry this out.

Nielsen IMS: 020 7420 9200
Kantar Media: 020 7160 5505
Telmar Communications Ltd: 020 7467 2599

29. How do I carry out reach and frequency planning?

Please speak to your respective planning bureaux for training on how to carry out reach and frequency planning

30. Why is there no print and digital combined code in reach and frequency analysis?

There will be a code for the various digital platforms in combination (as well as codes for each of the individual platforms separately). However, as the method of planning print is by insertions and for digital is by page views, it is not possible to combine the two into a single code. Print and digital can be planned in combination in the same schedule, using the separate codes provided for each.

31. Can I produce a plan that is date specific?

This is not possible, as the audience estimates are an average across the reporting periods concerned.

32. Can I plan several insertions that appear in different parts of a single edition of print title, e.g. one in the main paper and one in an accompanying supplement on the same day?

No, this is not advisable. At the moment the reach and frequency planning facilities within the bureaux assume that if there is more than one insertion in a publication, that these are placed in different editions. The calculations would be misleading if the intention was that the insertions appeared in the same edition, as reach would be overstated. PAMCo will be working with Ipsos and the bureaux to see if it is possible to develop a facility specifically for this type of analysis.

33. Can I optimise my plan across individual platforms?

Please contact your respective planning bureaux for information on optimisation tools.

34. If I am a monthly title, can I analyse my daily and weekly print reach as well as monthly reach?

Daily, weekly and monthly print reach estimates are provided for all brands in the bureaux planning systems. However care should be taken with sample sizes for the smaller brands.

Accessing PAMCo – Audience Measurement for Publishers data

35. How can I access the data?

The topline data are posted on the PAMCo website subscriber section. PAMCo & Ipsos iris subscribers have access to the full PAMCo database via one of the computer bureaux (Kantar Media, Nielsen IMS, Telmar, Mediatel) licensed by PAMCo Ltd to provide a data analysis service.

It is also possible to obtain direct access to respondent-level data to feed into your own planning tools. Please contact PAMCo Ltd to find out how to do this.

To access the full PAMCo dataset you must subscribe to both PAMCo and Ipsos iris, which is the current UKOM approved supplier of digital audience estimates.

36. What sort of Ipsos iris subscription do I need to access the digital data?

You will need an annual subscription to Ipsos iris which will include full access to the monthly dataset released 15 working days after month close.

For more information please contact Tasneem Ali on tasneem.ali@ipsos.com or Jing Yeow on jing.yeow@ipsos.com

37. Who can be measured on PAMCo?

Any publisher-owned print or digital brand is welcome to 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.

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. Click to see the PAMCo Rules for Measurement and Publication.

39. How do I get my brand on PAMCo?

Magazine publishers should approach the PPA (Professional Publishers Association) and newsbrand publishers should contact Newsworks  for further information on how to have their brand measured by PAMCo as part of the PAMCo dataset.

40. How do I add, change or amend my print or digital brands on PAMCo?

Publishers who are members of either Newsworks or the PPA and who wish make changes to their brands that are currently measured on PAMCo should let PAMCo and their respective industry bodies know.

Any changes required to print and/or digital brands included in PAMCo can be requested by publishers when the list of PAMCo entities is circulated by industry bodies on a quarterly basis. With regard to digital brands in particular, it is the publisher’s responsibility to inform PAMCo of any changes made to the Ipsos iris Dictionary that have an impact on the entities reported by PAMCo.

41. Do I need to be tagged to have my digital brand included?

Ipsos iris requires tags to be added to any websites that publishers want to be monitored. Tags from previous suppliers will not be automatically replaced. After a publisher places their tag, they should inform Ipsos to verify if the tags are running properly. As a second step, Ipsos will check if this is the case and verify on their end with the publisher that the tag is working. For mobile apps a software development kit (SDK) will be available and should be incorporated to ensure coverage of app traffic is also included.

42. I need help with tagging my digital property, who do I contact?

Please contact Tasneem Ali on tasneem.ali@ipsos.com or Jing Yeow on jing.yeow@ipsos.com

43. How do titles qualify to have estimates published?

Click here to see the PAMCo Rules for Measurement and Publication.

44. How frequently are PAMCo data published?

PAMCo audience estimates will be published on a quarterly basis.

45. When is the next data release?

Data Period Release Date Embargoed Until
PAMCo 2 2022 Sept ’20 – Mar ’22 (Mar ’22 Ipsos iris data) 15thJune 2022   00.01 29th June 2022
PAMCo 3 2022    Sept ‘20 – June ‘22   (June ’22 Ipsos iris data) 14thSeptember 2022   00.01 21st September 2022
PAMCo 4 2022 Sept ’20 – Sept ‘22   (Sept ‘ 22 Ipsos iris data) 14thDecember 2022   00.01 21st December 2022

46. How can I get PAMCo training?

PAMCo Client Services is dedicated to helping all of our clients use PAMCo data to its full potential. For detail on our training overview and how to book, please click here.

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