The Relationship Between News Media Data, Audits and CPMs

AAM: How does BlueSoHo use news media data from AAM?

Kurt Kopinski: BlueSoHo uses a proprietary database that houses circulation for more than 9,000 media vendors. By far, the most important data element in that database is circulation by ZIP code. Quarterly reporting from AAM has also been helpful in ensuring we have the most up-to-date information.

We get the data directly from AAM and import it into the database where we can run queries. The audit is used as a verified, reliable quality check to make sure that the data makes sense. It’s critically important to know that the newspapers are reporting correctly.

AAM: What happens when you have all the data gathered?

Kurt Kopinski: The data is used for planning purposes. It gives us information about the distribution of any one newspaper. If we’re developing a plan for a specific store, we build a data-driven methodology with our client’s approval to determine the right footprint. Then we use the database to determine the right distribution products that best align with the methodology.

We want verified counts to have the confidence that we’re building the right media buy. We know that when we execute the media buy, it won’t be exactly the right quantities, but it gets us in the ballpark, and our insertion order verification process can account for recent adjustments.

AAM: How do unaudited publications factor into your plans?

Kurt Kopinski: If a newspaper is unaudited, we can’t verify and feel confident in their numbers. We’re often less inclined to recommend and use products from unaudited sources.

I’m concerned that publications feel that there’s no need for an audit. I suspect publishers feel like we take it for granted, and no one ever asks them for an audit. The data is delivered to us directly. We actively use the audited data. It’s critically important for us as stewards of our client’s media program to feel confident that their ad goes out and reaches their customers. The audit is a key component in that confidence.

AAM: When a newspaper goes unaudited, does that effect the price you’re willing to pay?

Kurt Kopinski: If we use an unaudited product, our approach often is to ask for and accept a lower CPM as we cannot be assured that the quantity being asked for is actually reaching our customers. Our clients have all become extremely ROI driven with their media plans and need to make certain the ROI will be there.


BlueSoHo is an integrated marketing agency providing multi-channel marketing solutions to publishers, retailers and healthcare providers. The agency is also one of the top users of news media data in AAM’s Media Intelligence Center and receives a customized data feed integration. In a recent interview, Kurt Kopinski, vice president, client services, explains why they spend so much time with data, how it impacts CPMs and why they might not ask a newspaper for an audit.