The team behind the new audience metric, Enhanced Media Metric Australia, also known as emma, has released a statement to correct a number of false claims that have been levelled against the metric in the last week.
The statement follows unsubstantiated criticism in one trade media website about the potential for bias in emma and the accuracy of its research.
“Certain parties have made it their business to make a series of erroneous statements about emma,” The Readership Works general manager Mal Dale said.
“I would say it’s to be expected that certain people with an agenda would seek to misrepresent the reality of the situation.
“We’ve responded appropriately.”
By releasing the statement, the aim is to “make sure that nobody’s under any illusions about what the facts are,” he said.
The assertion that “emma is inherently biased because it is funded by the newspaper industry” is dismissed in the statement. While the metric is backed by The Readership Works, a subsidiary of The Newspaper Works, emma is produced by independent research company Ipsos, the methodology is supported by the Media Federation of Australia and subject to independent audits by Dr Rob Hall, who also audits the radio metric.
Mr Dale also pointed out that it is standard practice for industry associations to appoint research companies following competitive tenders to provide the market with audience measurement and provide the bulk of the funding as a service to the industry.
Claims that the metric overstates print readership were also rebutted along with rumours that “nobody is buying emma”. Most of the top five agency groups and a number independent agencies are paid subscribers to the metric.
Ipsos and The Readership Works have declined to comment on commercial details due to the confidentiality of client agreements.
It’s not just about the myths, however, Mr Dale said. “It’s emma’s first birthday and we’re still here.
“Ipsos have succeeded in securing a number of subscribers and they’re close to securing more. We continue to invest heavily in the product and it’s going to keep on developing and improving.”
emma is a cross-platform audience insights survey developed by Ipsos for The Readership Works. It launched in August 2013 and surveys 54,000 people a year, seven days a week to provide data on more than 600 newspapers and magazines.
For more news from The Newspaper Works, click here.