Digital publisher revenue and confidence on the up


There has been a 6.7% increase in UK publisher revenue from £77.6m in Q3 2016 to £82.8 in Q3 2017, coupled with a boost in industry confidence, according to new research.


Findings from the latest Digital Publishers Revenue Index (DPRI), a quarterly report on UK publishing from the Association for Online Publishing (AOP) and Deloitte, reveals digital publishers saw an increase in revenue in Q3 2017 compared to Q3 2016, and in the 12 months to September 2017 (6.7% and 3.0% respectively).

According to the DPRI report, the increase in Q3 publisher revenue has been driven by a rise in display advertising (+37% vs Q3 2016) and subscriptions (+21% vs Q3 2016), which have increased by 18% and 11% respectively year-on-year. Digital publishers have also seen annual growth from online video increasing by 34% on a 12-month rolling basis from October 2016.

Despite concerns in the previous quarter, there has been a boost in confidence on financial prospects from AOP board members from both company (40%) and industry (10%) perspectives. The wider cross-industry CFO community has also expressed similar positive sentiment in the latest Deloitte quarterly survey.

According to the DPRI survey, by platform smartphones showed the largest growth with a 52% increase in digital revenue from Q3 2016 to Q3 2017, with tablet devices increasing by 11% during the same period.

Richard Reeves, Managing Director, AOP, commented: “Once again we are seeing subscriptions, display and video leading revenue growth, highlighting the way publishers are adapting their priorities in line with industry trends and consumer behaviour. The digital publishing industry continues to face challenges relating to ad blocking and ad fraud, so it’s very encouraging that optimism on financial prospects saw an increase in Q3 2017, and – through new industry initiatives and greater collaboration – we hope to see this trend continue.”

Dan Ison, lead partner for media and entertainment at Deloitte, commented: “Publishers are starting to benefit from adapting their business strategies to meet with changing media consumption habits. By the end of 2018, we expect around half of consumers will have at least two online-only media subscriptions, ranging from video on demand to news and magazines, rising to four by the end of the decade. The growth of digital-only subscriptions demonstrates that consumers are increasingly willing to pay for content online.”

About the DPRI Report

The Q3 2017 DPRI report – conducted by AOP and Deloitte – is based on a survey of 19 UK digital publishers comprising 14 B2C publishers and five B2B publishers. The aim of the report is to provide an overview of revenue levels across multiple channels and platforms – as well as insight into publisher sentiment – and to benchmark these findings against previous quarters. The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

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