FAQs on the impact of COVID-19 on AAM reporting.
With libraries open for limited access, many are suspending their subscriptions and are planning to request their missed issues once locations fully reopen. Fulfillment houses may just extend the subscriptions. How will AAM handle these scenarios?
Publishers may claim the suspended copies if they are delivered when libraries resume full operation. If the suspended copies are not subsequently delivered, then the subscriptions may be extended on a one-for-one basis.
Has the allowable payment window for sponsored sales—currently required within four months of the start of service—been extended?
Not at this time. This is a business-to-business transaction. It is our understanding that basic business functions such processing accounts payable are still being maintained.
Is AAM providing guidance for magazines that are focused primarily or rely heavily on retail sales? Due to the coronavirus, some retail areas are experiencing reduced foot traffic.
AAM is providing publishers with the opportunity to explain the reduced foot traffic and sales in AAM reports but there are no other rules or reporting practices that can be modified to help alleviate the impact the coronavirus is having on retail sales.
I placed new public place names on file with my last issue but AAM’s rules require at least two consecutive issues to be served for verified to be reported as qualified circulation. Is AAM providing an exception to this requirement?
Beginning March 9, 2020, through the end of 2021, AAM will not take exception to the consecutive issue requirements.
In a previous question you referred to paid circulation converting to digital. Does the same apply to controlled circulation?
Yes. Digital copies may be served as replacements for controlled print subscriptions provided the publisher maintains records showing the subscriber was notified of the conversion and is able to access the digital copy. If subscribers decline the digital service, they must be excluded from the circulation claims. Beginning with January 2022, the subscription must revert to print.
Can we serve back copies if the timelines extend beyond typical AAM rules?
Yes. We understand that many organizations are experiencing changes to their work situation such as closures, remote work and reduced staff. This may impact your ability to start new business and make it necessary for you to send subscribers back copies. Beginning March 9, 2020, and continuing through the end of 2021, AAM will qualify the resulting back copy of new subscriber.
Can we continue to claim copies mailed even if we don’t meet the timelines outlined in AAM rules?
Yes. We understand that many organizations are experiencing changes to their work situation such as remote work, limited office reopening and reduced staff. This may impact your ability to effectively process the production and mailing of the main issue file. Beginning March 9, 2020, and continuing through the end of 2021, please make a notation in the notes section of your report when this type of late mailing occurs. It may be something as simple as:
Due to restrictions enacted during the coronavirus pandemic, the (issue dates) were mailed past original anticipated mailing date.
Can AAM extend the period for post-expiration service?
Yes. Beginning March 9, 2020, and continuing through the end of 2021, AAM will qualify extended service of post expiration copies while you are working to renew them. You will need to explain the volume of copies served in the notes section of the publisher’s statement. It may be something as simple as:
Due to restrictions enacted during the coronavirus pandemic, X,XXX post-expiration copies were served to subscribers to ensure their service was not disrupted.
Can I substitute digital copies to print subscribers?
Yes. We understand that production departments and delivery forces may be overwhelmed by the coronavirus and are unable to deliver print copies to paid subscribers. Digital copies may be served as replacements for print paid subscriptions provided the publisher maintains records showing the subscriber was notified of the conversion and is able to access the digital copy. If subscribers decline the digital service, they must be excluded from the circulation claims. Beginning with January 2022, the subscription must revert to print.
Can we use current source documents beyond 36 months for verified requested individual use subscriptions?
Yes, you may continue to use current source documents for verified requested individual use subscriptions through the June and December 2021 publisher’s statements and audits. If necessary, AAM will provide additional guidance beyond the December period.
If frequency changes, how do we report the annualization of average price?
Some magazines may experience unplanned changes to their frequency such as producing double issues or skipping issues due to the coronavirus. If this occurs at your magazine, you are exempt from reporting the annualized annual price for the June and December 2020 and June and December 2021 publisher’s statements. AAM will continue to monitor the situation and provide further direction on this topic.
Do I need to continue filing data in Rapid Report?
If your publication is required, please continue to file data in Rapid Report. To provide you with additional time to file the data, we are removing all late notice messages that occur when filing deadlines are missed until normal business resumes.
If you have any other questions or concerns regarding Covid-19's impact on your audit or reporting, please contact us.