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ABC 2016 year-end round up

We were aware that this was going to be a tough year in the South African media industry, and it has been indeed! The effect of a struggling economy and continuation of a changing media landscape have had huge effects on all of us. It is, however, always disappointing when we fall in the trap of focusing on the negative while there are many examples of publications that are flourishing, based on a positive model of reinvention.
There seems to be a much clearer view around the world on daily consumption of news that begins with mobile, then reading a daily newspaper, accessing the web at work and finally using a tablet in the evenings. The fact that our newspapers and magazines are still rated as the most reliable vehicle for quality content is massively encouraging. In my view ABC has done great work in 2016, embarking in a new direction, to not only to report on print but digital audiences as well.

The media landscape is changing at a increasingly fast pace and the ABC’s intention is to be part of it.

The ABC had quite an eventful year as can be seen in the summary of events below.
  • Q4 2015 circulation data was released at a business breakfast in Cape Town on 18 February 2015. The guest speaker was Stewart Lowe, a director at Whyfive Insights (Pty) Ltd, speaking on the topic “The Future of print media – understanding the challenges and opportunities”.

  • Circulation data for quarters 1, 2 and 3 2016 were released on the ABC website.

  • The option of releasing the 2017 quarterly circulation data via webinar is being investigated.

  • Changes in Directorate:
      - In February, Michael Rubenstein, representing MASA, and Jason Sequeira, representing PDMSA resigned as Directors.
      - In February, Richard Goussard representing PDMSA was appointed to the Board.
      - In May, Wilmien van der Westhuyzen , representing PDMSA, was appointed an Alternate Director.
      - In June, Wilmien van der Westhuyzen resigned, and Leoni Volschenk, was appointed in her place.
      - In July Gordon Patterson, the then President of the ABC was tragically killed in a botched highjacking.
      - In September, Chris Botha, representing the AMF, was appointed to the Board.
      - At the November Board meeting, Andre van Tonder was elected President of the ABC, and Paul Peters Vice-President.

  • Audits:
      - During the year, the ABC completed 90 check audits of which only 5 were qualified.
      - The ABC completed 879 circulation audits during the year. In excess of 80% of circulation audits are done by the ABC, saving members both time and cost. The balance is undertaken by IRBA registered auditors.

  • During the year, an agreement was reached with the Association of Independent Publishers, that a major percentage of their members would opt for Grassroots certification, beginning with the July- December 2016 submission period.

  • Innovations within your ABC included:

      - Certification of Website Traffic, Digital Publications and E-mail Newsletters

      With effect from I January, 2016, the ABC has offered certification of website traffic (including Apps), Digital Publications and E-mail Newsletters. To date 118 websites and 53 email newsletters have been certified.

      This represents a huge step forward, as it allows publishers to offer a snapshot of an entire publication’s audience. In addition, digital publications previously excluded can be certified.

      - Certification of Exhibition and Conference Attendance

      With effect from 1 January 2016, the ABC has offered certification of Exhibition and Conference Attendance. To date 7 Event Organisers have registered and data in respect of 12 Exhibitions has been submitted

      This represents a further step in the broadening of the ABC’s offering.

  • The ABC is at present undertaking a comprehensive re-write of the print rules. The rules were implemented in 2006, with some additions and changes over the intervening years.
    The Rules committee has met on many occasions during the year refining a set of Reporting Standards that reflect the changing media landscape, drawing on international best practice. The new Reporting Standards are likely to be implemented with effect from Quarter 3 2017.
In 2017, we will use new opportunities to adapt and stay true to our purpose of ensuring that the ABC will remain a “must have” for media buyers (advertisers and marketers) and sellers (media owners) of advertising and promotional material. We will further ensure that our objective to provide the industry with accurate and comparable circulation data remains our focus.

We wish you all the best for 2017!

21 Dec 2016 11:53


About Andre van Tonder