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PAMS – an innovative Reading currency, releases in February

A new milestone in reading currency research will be reached this month, February 2018, when the PRC (Publisher Research Council) releases the first PAMS (Publisher Audience Measure Survey) figures. The survey, conducted by Nielsen, has as its goal, accurate measurement of reading behaviour across multiple platforms.

 “This new readership research of over 150 titles and websites is set to become a major source for reading currency in South Africa.” says Peter Langschmidt, consultant to the PRC. “A global search of over 40 countries was used to determine current reading research best-practice. We combined these learnings and developed our own innovative world first methodologies to ensure that PAMS is among the ‘gold standard’ of Reader Audience Measurements world-wide.”

The launch of the research will take place in Johannesburg and Cape Town.



Date: 13 February 2018

Time: 15h45 for 16h00

Venue: Bryanston Country Club

Cape Town

Date: 14 February 2018

Time: 09h45 for 10h00

Venue: Kelvin Grove

The face-to-face interviews in 10 000 households were flooded to produce a sample of over 17 000 respondents and data includes cross platform reading on both paper and online.

Marketers and media planners will be glad to hear that buyer behaviour on some large categories and brands from the major Adspend categories have been included.

In designing the new reading currency, newspaper prompts have been regionalised, so as to limit respondent fatigue by excluding publications that are not sold in that area. The PRC has further addressed ‘respondent fatigue’ and resulting over-claiming by handing the tablet, containing the mastheads of the titles, to the respondent allowing them to select titles in complete privacy. Other changes and additions in the survey include ‘time spent reading’ for each publication, a new visual frequency scale based on actual publishing intervals trying to make it easier for respondents to recall their actual behaviour and also included the important category of leaflet/insert usage by readers.

“With increased time pressure on consumers, data fusion is becoming popular for media research globally. Single source, hour long studies are being rethought. The inclusion of some key brands make PAMS a perfect study to fuse with the Nielsen consumer panel and any other relevant studies,” concludes Langschmidt. “We look forward to sharing the new reading data with the industry and discussing how we will fuse PAMS with other studies later this year.”

If readers would like to attend any of the PAMS launches please email

Or phone: 011 326 4041 or 082 053 03872


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Insights into wealthy South African’s reading habits

As part of The Publisher Research Council’s (PRC) ongoing research into reading behaviour, the habits of those with the greatest amount of disposable income have been analysed, revealing a lucrative and engaged advertising target market.

“The PRC, as a JIC (Joint Industry Council), assists marketers and media planners when it comes to day to day planning,” says Peter Langschmidt, consultant to the PRC. “Additionally, we provide ongoing research into the reading habits of consumers and continually demonstrate the power of adding print to media schedules.”

Print provides a depth that is extremely difficult to replicate on other media platforms. In the research conducted by research company whyfive and premium annual landscape survey, BrandMapp, the PRC provides insights into those at the top end of the SEM scale.

BrandMapp looks at 25 599 economically active adults who live in households earning in excess of R25 000 per month. In short, it paints a unique picture of economically active South Africans.

According to the research, 58% prefer reading, ranking it third above popular activities like travelling, gardening, eating out and socialising.

An interesting fact is that the percentage of wealthy South Africans who buy and read magazines have not changed noticeably over the past three years. While there was a slight dip in 2015, 66% of the BrandMapp sample buy magazines and 80% read. Due to the nature of magazines, additional reach is achieved as 86% of readers pass along their magazines to friends and family. An attribute respondents most associate with magazines is the ability to ‘pick up and dip in’ multiple times while 76% of magazine readers associate magazine adverts as being a direct trigger to purchase.

76% of wealthy South Africans still read printed newspapers. One person in four likes the ritual of a printed newspaper and 21% like the ‘touch and feel’ of real paper between their fingers.

Advertisers are benefiting through average read frequencies of magazines! An interesting question is asked of the respondents – when it comes to reading the following types of magazines, roughly how many times do you pick up and read/page through a single copy? Read frequencies ranged from 3.2 to 1.9, showing that advertisers get an average additional two OTS (Opportunity to See), ie buy one OTS and get one or two free while advertisers in newspapers receive an additional one OTS.

“Reading media, whether newspapers, magazines or online provides a depth of information unlike other media. The ability to put it down, pick it up and assimilate information at your own pace is an oft overlooked fact,” concludes Langschmidt. “Reading provides consumers with convincing information, prices and comparisons, calculators and location to make, and seal a purchase decision.”

For additional information and research on reading and the full READ presentation, visit

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