The N&R delivers a fair number of papers for free to some of their (ex) “subscribers”. Now, the AP has a story about some recent changes to the newspaper circulation auditing figures that allow them to be portrayed in a far more rosy light than might otherwise be the case. One example is in double-counting hard-copy subscribers who are thrown in free access to the online edition. The article mentions some of the “reasons” for a drop off in subscriptions, but doesn’t point to the most obvious — the fact that most “mainstream” newspapers are completely out of touch with their (former) customers. As you can imagine, some advertisers are concerned with the new auditing methodology. We’ll see how this effects already declining newspaper ad revenues.
Newspaper Circulation Figures Worse Than They Appear