It’s the biggest news story of the month. No, not the Royal Baby or Kanye’s tweets, but the launch of PAMCo. But why is it here? And why does it sound like it could be confused for having something to do with Japanese video games in the 80s?

PAMCo is, in fact, the new JIC (Joint Industry Currency) for published media, which produces de-duplicated brand reach. It allows those in the industry to carry out reach and frequency planning to better commercialise audiences across all platforms – and it is the first of its kind.

It uses new and “approved world-leading methodology” to help both the buy and sell sides navigate the tricky question of how much reach each publisher can deliver across their owned and operated channels – all with the hope of revitalising publishers’ sales revenue. Equally, PAMCo aims to bolster audience sizes at a time when traditional print titles face challenges maintaining perceived coverage as audiences migrate to digital.

As for the name, PAMCo was originally to be named AMP, standing for Audience Measurement for Publishers. However, as fate turned out, Accelerated Mobile Pages from Google launched in 2015, putting an end to yet another three-letter media acronym. And so the standout name of PAMCo came into being (although its full, official title remains PAMCo – Audience Measurement for Publishers).

It comes at a time when, as a traditional channel, ‘print’ titles may have been suffering from advertisers seeing their reach figures in isolation, referring exclusively to their printed circulation as opposed to considering newsbrands as a broader-reaching cross-media platform.

This fact was recognised over three years ago when the idea to produce a cross-channel currency finally became a commitment. It had the ambition of replacing the National Readership Survey (NRS) as the long-standing currency for print trading. Having served a siloed purpose for print readership since 1956, it was certainly time to address the shift to digital consumption for quality journalism to help publishers better monetise their content across channels. At least, that was the aim.

The development of PAMCo offers new opportunities in terms of planning and buying strategies, with greater levels of accountability compared to previously loose estimations without a trusted method for everyone to adopt. A host of new sales strategies and fresh communications to fight for the prized media budgets with new sales patter will no doubt ensue too, which we will be excited to be a part of.

Significantly, the first sets of available data from PAMCo show that 24.6m people read news brands every day and 41.3m weekly – far higher than would have been seen with the old-school NRS figures.
What will be interesting to see is who comes out on top with new revenue developments, and how future trading opportunities open up more effective campaigns for advertisers – all assuming the sales houses can deliver on the promise the currency offers.

As we’re surrounded by stories of fake news, brand safety concerns and privacy issues from some of the largest reaching digital platforms, it’s potentially the perfect remedy to place our cherished publishers back in the hearts and minds of those seeking audience reach at huge scale in a trusted and premium environment.

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