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NRS is ready to build for a new future: Calls for 'media producers' to be differentiated from aggregators

Following Campaign's revelation that the NPA has started a review of its requirements for audience measurement this month, Simon Redican, chief executive of the National Readership Survey explains why after a 56 year partnership, the company welcomes the move.

Simon Redican: 'At the NRS we relish this opportunity to help re-define not just the press sector but the wider market'

Simon Redican: 'At the NRS we relish this opportunity to help re-define not just the press sector but the wider market'

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As the chief executive of NRS, taking the helm of a near 60 year old organisation just four weeks ago, you might be surprised to hear I welcomed news of the review by newsbrands this month.

At the NRS we relish this opportunity to help re-define not just the press sector but the wider market. We currently lack a convincing definition of the broader media market.

The most commonly used definition of "traditional" media and digital media is meaningless and outdated - media brands are now consumed across a myriad of platforms.


What remains consistent is recognisable and much loved editorial brands and brilliant, professionally produced content in one market and technology platforms and utilities that aggregate this content and much else besides, in a different market.

What we actually have is two markets more usefully segmented as content creators and content aggregators/utilities. And in this regard I believe that display advertising is best done within a context of "active engagement" and exchange of brand values, using non-interruptive advertising formats.

There is so much evidence within the wider industry for this, from agencies, from press, TV and radio, that the onus sits firmly with the content aggregators and technology platforms to make their case for effectiveness in display.

Our challenge is to persuade agencies and advertisers that recognising these two markets, and planning and buying accordingly and separately, is good for business.

Their long term business will prosper if, as the IPA Long and Short of It study recommends, they allocate 60% of their business to long-term brand building and 40% to short-term activation. And that content creators are the best partners for building a brand.

So how does this relate to the challenge of the press industry body?

By championing this market definition it provides us with a vision to develop a separate and new currency for planning and trading professionally produced content online.

Quite simply, all impressions are not equal and it is our role to quantify that and with our colleagues in the content industry marketing bodies, and the agencies to demonstrate to clients why this separate currency should be re-assessed and its effectiveness valued anew.

There are three specific deliverables we will focus on within this wider market definition

1. Cross platform audience measurement for all of our brands
2. Champion a definition of "active engagement"
3. To better communicate and market what we do

Being intrinsically involved in a process which can help bring about this re-definition of the market for the benefit of all is a real thrill.

Simon Redican is chief executive of the National Readership Survey

This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk

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