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:

  1. A Postal Phase – where all sampled addresses are mailed and invited to take part either by online or paper self-completion questionnaire.
  2. 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?

PAMCo are currently working with Ipsos to develop and test the new process to integrate PAMCo and Ipsos iris data.  Details of the new approach will be provided as soon as the new methodology is approved by the PAMCo Technical Group

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

The aim is for PAMCo digital estimates to be as close as possible to Ipsos iris (and always  within +/- 5% from Ipsos iris data).  However, we are in the process of testing the fusion between PAMCo and Ipsos iris data and will update this question once these tests have been carried out.

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 is PAMCo’s methodology changing 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:

  1. A Postal Phase – where all sample addresses are mailed and invited to take part either by online or paper self-completion questionnaire
  2. 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 the measure used in the PAMCo published tables. The definition has been agreed by the PAMCo Board.

TBR is a measure of the reach of all related content for each publisher brand and includes:

Related/sub-brands that share the main title branding or url of the parent brand e.g. The Guardian and www.the guardian.com.
Related and sub-brands that display the parent branding on the home page of the website/app.
Sunday papers that do not share weekday branding (e.g. The Observer), to keep parity with other brands.

Non-publisher websites, including store/retailer/membership websites will not be included in TBR definitions but could be part of the overall PAMCo dataset.

In the analysis systems provided by the computer bureaux, it is possible to break out the different brands and platforms contributing to TBR, with the exception of third-party platforms which are covered in more detail in Q.26 below. A full list of the brands and platforms included in each TBR estimate is available on the PAMCo website and within the computer bureaux.

For more detailed information please click here for our full TBR 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. What is in the PAMCO Questionnaire?

Print readership

For all brands:

Average Issue Readership
Daily reach
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
B. The following topics were not published in the NRS blended data but are published for PAMCo now that there are a full 12 months of data:
Topic interest: news, politics, craft, environment
Sports interest: horse riding, boxing, cycling/mountain biking, swimming
News interest: local news, national news, international news

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


NEW and detailed data on household and personal usage (Any, 1, 2, 3+) of the following devices:
E-book reader
Smart watch
Video games console
Smart TV
Blu Ray
Streaming devices
An internet connected Set Top Box or DVR

Classification data

Age (now including separate breaks for 65-74 and 75+, instead of just 65+)
Sexual Orientation
Social grade
Main shopper
Marital status
Terminal education age
Employment status
Working status
Chief Income Earner
Household composition and presence of children
Ethnic Origin
Government Office Region
SIC and SOC classifications

Other media

Radio (including NEW PAMCo data on days a week any station listened to and time spent listening on an average day)
Internet usage

22. 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.

23. What data are included about digital readers?

We are in the process of testing the fusion between PAMCo and Ipsos iris data and will update this question once these tests have been carried out

Duplication of reading in print & on screen

24. How is duplication between reading in print and on screen controlled?

We are in the process of testing the fusion between PAMCo and Ipsos iris data and will update this question once these tests have been carried out.

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?

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?

Due to the different methodologies between pre Covid data collection and current data collection, the PAMCo Board have mandated that they should not be compared for marketing and commercial purposes.

27. Can I run my analysis on a base other than 12 months?

PAMCo publishes data every quarter based on the most recent rolling 12 months of survey data available e.g. PAMCo January 2020 – December 2020.

For larger titles it is possible to look at PRINT readership for periods of less than 12 months, e.g. the most recent six or nine months. However, the minimum sample of average issue readers recommended for such analysis is 100.

Analysis of DIGITAL audience data or combined print and digital audience data should ONLY be conducted on a 12 month base. This is because the integration of digital data is carried out using the full 12 months of PAMCo data and is not controlled for any time period other than the full 12 months.

28. Can I look at seasonal trends in the data?

As above, PAMCo print readership data can be broken out into particular periods or seasons for analysis, but this is only recommended if the brand has a sample of over 100 average issue readers in the period concerned.

29. 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

30. 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

31. 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.

32. 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.

33. 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.

34. Can I optimise my plan across individual platforms?

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

35. 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

36. 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.


37. 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

38. 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.

40. 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.

41. 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.

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

Tagging is not essential but is strongly recommended in order to achieve the best possible estimates.

Ipsos iris 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 the Ipsos iris estimate by ensuring all activity is credited, including activity not covered by Ipsos iris panels (e.g. from Android tablets).

43. 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

45. How frequently are PAMCo data published?

PAMCo audience estimates will be published on a quarterly basis.

46. When is the next data release?

Data Period Release Date Embargoed Until
PAMCo 1 2021* Apr’19 – Mar ’20 (Nov ’20 Comscore data) 10th March 2021 00.01 17th March 2021


* Please note that the print data for this release will not be updated from the PAMCo 2 2020 data release. Due to Covid-19, face-face interviewing was suspended on 17th March 2020 and we have been unable to collect April – Dec’ 20 print readership estimates.  The PAMCo Board therefore requested that PAMCo 3 2020, PAMCo 4 2020 and PAMCo 1 2021 data be released using the same print audience estimates as for PAMCo 2 2020 but fused with the latest Comscore data for June 2020, September 2020 and November 2020 respectively

47. 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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