Digital issues defined

Magazine media digital issues

A digital issue is eligible for inclusion in total circulation and, if applicable, rate base on AAM publisher’s statements and audit reports. To do so, the digital issue must meet the standards outlined below.

Publication Name

The digital issue must maintain the same identity, name and logotype as the print. Phrasing may be added to identify it as a digital issue.


The digital issue must include all the same editorial content in the print. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Table of contents (page numbers may be eliminated)
  • Article titles (may be modified for expanded content and subheads may be excluded)
  • Complete articles
  • Quotes
  • Reviews

Additional or enhanced editorial content (updates, hyperlinks, audio, video, etc.) is also acceptable. However, the print issue’s original editorial text must be retained when content is added or enhancements are made.

The digital issue may reflect any corrections found after production of the print issue.

Photography and Graphics

All photography and graphics appearing in the print issue must be included in the digital issue. This includes all photo captions, legends and notations. The user may be presented with captions via roll overs, pop ups, etc.

Photos may be replaced in the digital issue due to copyright or royalty restrictions if the new photo is of the same subject in the same setting.


Advertisers in the print issue must be given the opportunity to appear in the digital, with the exception of:

  • Fractional ads one-third of a page or smaller
  • Classified ads
  • House ads
  • Tactile enhancements (texture, glossy presentation, scent strips, etc.)

If print advertisers choose to appear in the digital issue, the content and message of the ad is at the discretion of the advertiser.

Additional or enhanced advertising beyond what is included in the print issue is acceptable.

Activity Pages

Activity pages include items such as word puzzles, number puzzles and quizzes.  Because print and digital issues each provide unique functionality, print issue activity pages are not required if they cannot function on the device.


The layout may be reformatted and reorganized to accommodate different devices, but the editorial, photography and advertising must still be presented in a manner consistent with the print issue.  

Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Advertising content must be interspersed with editorial content. It is not acceptable to separate advertising into a separate section.
  • Articles may be rearranged throughout the issue and consolidated onto one page if originally a multi-page article.

A digital issue not meeting the above criteria is still eligible for inclusion in AAM publisher's statements and audit reports, however, it is disclosed independently as digital nonreplica and excluded from total circulation and rate base data.

  • Digital nonreplica issues must maintain the same identity, name and logotype as the print issue. Phrasing added to identify it as a digital issue is acceptable.
  • The content focus must be consistent in nature with the print issue. For example, if the print magazine focuses on celebrities or fitness, then the digital issue should also focus primarily on celebrities or fitness.