USPS to count electronic subscriptions toward circulation
February 7, 2012 -- American Business Media postal counsel Jack Widener today informed ABM members that the Postal Service has proposed rule changes that will allow publishers to report electronic copy distributions as paid and requested circulation. The rule changes (which are optional and go into effect Sept. 30), could mean publishers will have another source to meet the requirement that 50 percent of a publicationís total circulation be paid or requested.
According to Widener, the new rules allow publishers to count up to 10% of their electronic distribution towards qualifying for or maintaining periodical rate privileges and report at least some of their electronic distribution on postal reports such as the annual statement of ownership.
For e-pubs to count towards a publicationís eligibility for Periodicals prices, they must:
- Be paid at a price above nominal rate for publications approved in the general category.
- Be requested in writing or by electronic correspondence for publications approved in the requestor category.
- Access to electronic copies of a Periodicals publication offered in conjunction with printed copies of the same issues may not be counted when determining total circulation for the publication.
- At least 40 percent of the total circulation of each issue must consist of print copies.
- Publications for which at least 60% of total circulation consists of printed copies to subscribers or requesters, as applicable, will be exempt from annual circulation audits.
- If less than 60% of a Periodicals publicationís total circulation consists of printed copies and electronic copies distributed to subscribers or requesters, as applicable annual Postal audits must be conducted by a certified audit bureau.