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PAMS – validated and live!

After a period of intense data validation, The Publisher Research Council (PRC) is pleased to announce that the first ever Publisher Audience Measure Survey (PAMS) is live and available to all research and software bureaus. The data researches titles and brands.

PAMS is the new reading currency designed to achieve an accurate measurement of reading behaviour across multiple platforms to enable the buying and selling of advertising.

The research, conducted by Nielsen, measures around 150 newspapers, magazines and websites readers. This title specific media currency survey is based on first world methodologies and best of breed practices. With many research ‘firsts’ and innovative changes, PAMS is the first reading study worldwide to use ‘flooding’. Additionally, global AIR (Average Issue Readership) is included and the recency method is used. The PRC has introduced a tighter new reading measure, in PAMS known as *CORE readers.

“For the media industry, the beloved brands are back in PAMS!” says Peter Langschmidt, consultant to the PRC. “From motor vehicles to financial institutions to retail, including furniture and groceries, the survey has determined who’s responsible for category and brand purchases, where they buy, what they read and on what platform. With a random probability sample in excess of 17,000 respondents, results will generally fall within a few percentage points margin of error.

A word of caution though, the survey’s data (including the paper measure) is not comparable with any previous reader surveys.”

The PRC took the decision to include some key brands from the major adspend categories in this first ever PAMS. These include cellular networks, financial institutions, automotive, and retail – food and grocery, furniture and clothing.

One of the most interesting facts to emerge from the first PAMS is that Capitec has overtaken   the traditional “big four banking institutions” in terms of number of customers.  And they have not merely just surpassed the others, but at a 23% penetration vs. 13% for the second placed ABSA and FNB, they have blown away the competition.

33% of South African households have a motor vehicle according to the study. The PAMS data closely matches Stats SA 2016 Community Survey (33%). Top manufactures mirror NAAMSA and car park figures.

“We wanted to simplify the complexity of previous research questionnaires, and so within the food and grocery section, where consumers generally visit at least two retailers monthly, we asked only ONE key question – Where do you spend most of your money on groceries.”

Shoprite completely dominates the mass and lower sectors, while Pick n Pay is the leader, to a lesser extent, in the top end SEM 8-10 segment. “This is just the beginning of category and branded data, the next step is survey and panel fusion. Fusion is no longer the vision, but rather the preferred solution internationally,” concludes Langschmidt. “We are well advanced in discussions with Nielsen to fuse PAMS with their Homepanel which tracks actual purchases of over 2000 brands amongst 4000 representative households.

Within a few months we will have more brands linked to the readership of our titles across all platforms, while publishers will be fusing PAMS data with Effective Measure online data in the near future.”


PAMS documentation and all bureau contacts are available on the PRC website at

For additional information and more in-depth data of titles, please make use of the PRC’s website or contact the PRC on 011 326 4041.

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