Most UK publishers positive about growth this year (despite Brexit)


Amid the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, more than half of UK publishers reported positive growth this quarter compared to Q2 2015, according to new research.

Latest figures from the Digital Publishers Revenue Index (DPRI) – a quarterly report of UK publishers from the Association for Online Publishing (AOP) and Deloitte, the business advisory firm – reveal that UK publishers remain optimistic for the year ahead.


Despite a decline in optimism among UK business leaders* in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote, four-fifths (78%) of respondents are expecting positive growth over the next 12 months, with more than half (53%) reporting positive revenue growth compared to Q2 2015.

The Q2 2016 DPRI report confirms UK publisher revenues of £78.4 million for the quarter, an increase of 1.8% compared to the same quarter in 2015. Annual DPRI revenue increased by 4.1% in the 12 months ending June 2016. In terms of B2B publishers, strong growth in sponsorship (54%) and subscriptions (41%) in the second quarter has led to a revenue increase of 5.5% compared to the same period in 2015, and a total annual increase of 4.9% in the 12 months to June 2016. In contrast, B2C revenues rose by 3.8% for the year to June 2016.

Display advertising (-7% vs. Q2 2015) remains the largest single revenue category for UK publishers and accounts for the majority of smartphone revenue (86%) and tablet revenue (65%). Online video, which has increased by 117% compared to Q2 2015, is the fastest growing category in Q2 2016.

Richard Reeves, Managing Director, AOP, commented: “In a time of economic uncertainty in light of Britain’s decision to leave the EU, it is encouraging that UK publishers reported such positive growth in quarter two, and that they feel confident about the future growth of the industry.” Reeves continued: “With the emergence of increasingly innovative video formats on the market, it is perhaps not surprising that online video is performing so well this quarter. It will be interesting to see how this category evolves and shapes the future of digital publishing”.

Dan Ison, lead partner for media and entertainment at Deloitte, commented: “In recent years, UK publishers have had to learn to adapt to new, disruptive technologies in order to respond to changing consumer habits. The industry has benefitted from the fact that many publishers have now adopted a digital-first approach, rather than relying purely on physical revenue streams. As a result, UK publishers are now more nimble and willing to change when faced with unforeseeable variables, and this confidence is reflected in their optimism for the year ahead.”

The sentiment of business leaders was taken from Deloitte’s Q2 2016 CFO survey, a quarterly survey of Chief Financial Officers and Group Finance Directors of major companies in the UK. The 2016 second quarter survey took place between 28th June and 11th July.

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