Magazine media circulation terms and definitions

A glossary of paid, verified and nonpaid circulation terms.

General Circulation Terms

Term Definition Data Location AAM Rule Reference
Analyzed Nonpaid Copies of a magazine that are distributed free of charge to
defined recipients, or are available for pickup at designated locations.
AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center F 13.3
Annual Frequency The number of times a magazine is published per year. AAM Reports  
Digital Issue The electronic version of a magazine that maintains the same identity, name and logotype as the print version. Digital issues are available via restricted websites and mobile applications. AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center F 18.1
Field Served A general statement by the publisher describing the magazine’s market(s) and/or occupations to whose interest the publication’s editorial content is directed. AAM Reports B 4.9
Net of Considerations A consideration is anything that is offered to the consumer to induce them to subscribe/purchase the publication. Net of considerations are the monies allocated towards the publication after all other inducements have been applied. AAM Reports  
Paid Subscriptions When a consumer has paid at least one penny net of considerations for a magazine subscription. AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center F 1.1
Print A traditional hard copy of a magazine. AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center  
Rate Base The publisher-provided assumption of circulation performance. AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center F 1.1
Single-Copy Sales Copies of the magazine sold at newsstands, racks, retail outlets, etc. as opposed to a subscription. The consumer must have paid at least one penny net of considerations for a magazine issue. AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center F 1.1
Total Circulation The sum of paid subscriptions, verified subscriptions, single-copy sales and analyzed nonpaid. AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center  
Variance to Rate Base The difference between total circulation and rate base. AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center F 1.1
Verified Subscriptions Subscription copies designated by publishers for readership in public places or intended for individual use by recipients who are likely to have a strong affinity for the content of the magazine. No payment is necessary to qualify a recipient for verified reporting, however, the recipient must be offered an opt-out of the subscription AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center F 15.1

Paid Subscriptions

Term Definition Data Location AAM Rule Reference
Association: Deductible Subscriptions received as part of membership in an association, organization or society. The subscription dollar amount is deductible from association fees or dues. Meaning the member may decline the subscription
and deduct the value of the subscription from the membership dues.
AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center F 2.4
Association: Nondeductible Subscriptions received as part of membership in an association, organization or society. The subscription dollar amount is included in the association fees or dues and is not deductible. AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center F 2.4

Club/
Membership:
Deductible

Subscriptions served to individuals as a result of membership in a club or organization for a common purpose. The subscription dollar amount is deductible from club/membership fees or dues. AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center F 2.6
Club/
Membership: Nondeductible

Subscriptions served to individuals as a result of membership in a club or organization for a common purpose. The subscription dollar amount is included in club/membership fees or dues and are not deductible.

AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center F 2.6
Deferred Individual subscriptions served a month or later, usually from copies unsold from initial distribution and returned by the distributor. AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center F 7.1
Individual Subscription A subscription that was ordered and paid for by an individual for at least one penny net of considerations. These include the following paid categories: individual paid, premium sales, gift subscriptions, discounted subscriptions, combination sales, and award point subscriptions. AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center F 1.1
Multi-Title Digital Program Paid digital subscriptions obtained through a multi-title digital access model (i.e., Texture). AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center F 18.3
Partnership Deductible Subscriptions Subscriptions served to individuals that are tied to a partnership agreement with other goods and services (e.g., subscription to a magazine partnered with the purchase of season tickets to a sporting or cultural event). The subscription amount is deductible at the point of sale, meaning the consumer may decline the subscription and deduct the value from the partnered good or service. AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center F 2.5
Sponsored Subscriptions Subscriptions purchased in quantities of 11 or more that promote the professional or business interests of the purchaser. Paid sponsored sales include the following paid categories: sponsorship, group and military subscriptions. AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center F 2.1

Verified Subscriptions

Term Definition Data Location AAM Rule Reference
Individual Use Copies delivered to a consumer who would likely have a strong affinity for the editorial content of the publication. No payment is necessary to qualify a recipient for verified reporting, however, the recipient must be offered an opt-out of the subscription. AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center F 15.1
Public Place Copies intended for use in waiting room by patrons of a business location or copies delivered to hotels for placement in rooms for use by guests. AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center F 15.1

Single-Copy Sales

Term Definition Data Location AAM Rule Reference
Partnership Deductible Issue Single-copy issues served to individuals that are tied to a partnership agreement with other goods and services (e.g., single-copy issue of a magazine partnered with the purchase of season tickets to a sporting or cultural event). The single-copy issue amount is deductible at the point of sale, meaning the consumer may decline the single-copy issue and deduct the value from the partnered good or service. AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center F 2.5
Single Issue Copies of a magazine sold at newsstands, racks, retail outlets, etc. as opposed to a subscription. The consumer must have paid at least one penny net of considerations for a magazine issue. AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center F 1.1
Sponsored Single Issue Single-copy issues purchased in quantities of 11 or more that promote the professional or business interests of the purchaser. AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center F 2.1

Analyzed Nonpaid

Term Definition Data Location AAM Rule Reference
Delivered with Host Product Copies that act as inserts to another publication (the“host”). AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center F 13.7
List Copies distributed to individual recipients as a result of their name appearing on a qualified list. Individuals must meet the “definition of list source recipient.” Consecutive issuance is required. AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center F 13.4
Market Coverage Copies individually addressed or delivered where consecutive issuance is not measured. AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center F 13.6
Nonpaid Bulk Circulation delivered to designated locations for redistribution to recipients unknown to the publisher. AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center F 13.5

Prices

Term Definition Data Location AAM Rule Reference
Average Single Copy (Suggested Retail Price) The publication’s suggested single-copy price for the six-month reporting period. AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center F 1.2
Average Subscription Price Annualized The average price of individual subscriptions sold in a 12-month period, presented as a one-year subscription. This calculation is made by taking the average per-copy price multiplied by the frequency for the period covered by the average price being reported. AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center F 1.4
Average Subscription Price Per Copy The average price of individual subscriptions sold in a 12-month period, presented on a per-copy basis AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center F 1.4
Subscription (Suggested Retail Price) The publication’s suggested one-year subscription price for the six-month reporting period. AAM Reports and Media Intelligence Center F 1.2

Subscription Analysis

Term Definition Data Location AAM Rule Reference
Channels of Subscription Sales The channels in which the subscriptions were obtained. Media Intelligence Center  
Duration of Subscriptions Sold The length of subscription term(s) sold during the statement period. Media Intelligence Center  
Post-Expire Copies Copies sent to subscribers consecutively for up to three months after expiration of the subscription term. Media Intelligence Center  
Use of Premium Reports the subscriptions sold with a product being used as a premium. To qualify these subscriptions, the publisher is required to collect the full value of the premium(s) in addition to the subscription price of one cent or more Media Intelligence Center  

Geographic Analysis

Term Definition Data Location AAM Rule Reference
Average Circulation of Regional, Metro, Demographic Editions Reports a magazine’s edition which was sold as a separate advertising vehicle. This includes regional, metro and demographic editions offered for separate advertising sales according to the publication’s rate card. Media Intelligence Center F 5.4
Geographic Analysis Circulation by geographic area for a single issue in the publisher’s statement reporting period (also referred to as the “analyzed issue”). It identifies circulation for the 48 contiguous states in alphabetical order, then Alaska, Hawaii and U.S. possessions. Data is also provided for Canada, international and military subscriptions if any were served.
Note: Digital may be reported (if applicable) but as a total only. Digital may not be broken down by state or province.
Media Intelligence Center F 5.1