WHAT IS THE SOURCE AND AGE OF AN AUDIENCE?
A critical consideration in evaluating your media buy is the source and age of a media owner's audience.
Alan Moore, the co-author of Communities Dominate Brands: Business and Marketing Challenges for the 21st Century, wrote a paper commissioned by Microsoft called "The glittering allure of the mobile society." Therein he wrote:
Markets will have to compete on service, convenience, and other factors unrelated to price, believes John Battelle. Why? Because the following six points are now the primary factors that will influence business, commerce, and society: Search  Proximity  Recommendation  Links (point to)  Discovery  Currency of information.
His "points" serve as a basis for discussion within the Source/Age Breakout of a BPA Brand Report.
WHAT IS THE CURRENCY OF INFORMATION?
Things change so fast, that before the ink is dry on a report, the audience has shifted. This is why auditing itself is so important: it is the single best assurance that a media buyer has, that the audience is what the media owner says it is. The Source/Age Breakout conveys the currency of the audience data.
The example shows a 1-year category, a 2-year and a 3-year. These categories describe the "age" of the audience data by indicating when the media owner last confirmed an individual's details. In other words, about 75% of the file was confirmed within one year in the example, and the other 25% within two years. There is no third year data.
This is all important information when evaluating your media purchase. Indeed, compared to a non-audited audience, the audited audience is rich in detail to help make an informed decision. Imagine trying to evaluate this without BPA!
When evaluating your media purchase, take a closer look at the Source/Age Breakout. BPA makes media buying better!
"Why Age of an Audience Is Important"
Age of an audience (not their physical age, but how long since their details have been confirmed) is important to review because of what is called "currency of information." Individuals move around and are not static. Over the years, media owners had to adapt to this fluidity because "tracking" their audience costs money. Media owners pay huge amounts of money to maintain their audiences "currency" – because the more current, the more relevant; the more relevant, the more likely your message will get through. A key reason for utilizing BPA statements is being assured of the audience's currency.
"What is the best ratio of 1, 2 or 3 year Age of Audience?"
The answer is complex, simply because it costs so much money for a publisher to maintain a "current" audience.
However, one of the benchmarks to keep in mind is a history of reports. Audiences, like employees at a company, shift. They move, change jobs, change careers. Ask the media owner for two or three years of BPA statements, and then compare them. This is an excellent way to build a benchmark. You might see, for example, the audience drifting one way or another. Knowledge is comparison and using several years of BPA reports can give you a good grasp of their audience strategy.