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Online publishers reporting growth

50% of digital publishers reporting positive revenue growth

Total digital publishing revenue was up 2.7% in Q3 2022 compared to the same period last year and reached GBP 153.5 million. 50% of digital publishers report positive revenue growth, UK’s Association of Online publishers (AOP) and Deloitte say.

Recruitment classifieds and other classifieds continued to see the strongest growth for publishers in Q3 2022, increasing by 21.4% and 27.3% respectively, as compared to Q3 2021. Display advertising also shows steady growth of 13.9% – from GBP 59.8 million in Q3 2021 to GBP 68.1 million Q3 2022 – with subscriptions another area tracking positively this quarter, up 12.1% vs the same quarter last year. 

“The increase in subscription revenues demonstrates audience willingness to pay for quality content, even during a cost-of-living crisis”, the AOP report says.

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Multi-platform and mobile devices saw an increase of 5.9% and 15.7% respectively, as compared to Q3 2021. 

Revenue from desktop-only devices declined by 16.9% – from GBP 30.2 million in Q3 2021 to GBP 25.1 million in Q3 2022. 

“This reflects the way consumers continue to seek out content across multiple devices, with ad campaigns running across several platforms to mirror this behaviour. As a result, desktop-only display advertising revenue saw a decline of 6.6% in Q3 2022, as compared with Q3 2021”, the report says.

On a twelve-month rolling basis, total digital revenue has increased to £632.1 million (up by 6.6%), with both B2B and B2C publishers experiencing an uptick in revenues. B2B revenue increased by 12.2% to £55.9 million in September 2022 on a 12-month rolling basis, driven by the growth of display formats, classifieds, and subscriptions. Meanwhile, B2C revenue grew by 6.1% in September 2022 on a 12-month rolling basis.

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“Half of those surveyed (50%) reported positive revenue growth in Q3 2022, with 100% of respondents believing that new products will once again be a high priority for their business over the next year, alongside non-advertising growth (83%) and cost reduction targets (66%).”

It is the sustained growth of display advertising and subscriptions that represents the fierce appetite for digital content. It is clear that consumers are still willing to pay for top-tier content, even with squeezed budgets, which paints a positive outlook for publishing, says Dan Ison, lead partner for telecommunications, media and entertainment at Deloitte.

“While unsurprising to see the ongoing decline of desktop, as publishers continue to prioritise shorter, punchier editorial across devices like mobile, it was interesting to note just how steep the drop in revenue was for the platform this quarter”, says Richard Reeves, Managing Director at AOP, commented.

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