Association of online publishers Helping media owners build better digital business

Digital Publisher Advertising Revenues up 14% Year on Year

The Association of Online Publishers (AOP) today revealed that UK digital publisher advertising revenues were up 14% in Q2 2013 versus the same period of the previous year. The AOP Digital Publishers Revenue Index Report (DPRI), carried out by Deloitte, is complemented by the AOP Sentiment Index Report. It recorded publisher sentiment for the coming quarter, showing a strong emphasis on moving away from cost cutting and towards the introduction of new products and services in Q3 2013. Howard Davies, Deloitte media partner, said: “Digital advertising revenues continue to grow, with video, recruitment, sponsorship, and display advertising all performing well for premium digital publishers. Recruitment drove improved performance for the Classifieds category in the second quarter of 2013, with the format experiencing its largest quarterly year-on-year growth since the DPRI began. “Looking ahead, the vast majority of digital publishers expect to see further advertising revenue increases across sectors over the coming quarter. We believe that this sustained growth reflects the investment made by premium publishers in the quality of their inventory, adoption of new trading approaches, and the continuing appeal of high quality editorial content.” Strong Second Quarter for UK Digital Publishers
A total of 65% of respondents reported positive total advertising growth in the second quarter of 2013, with only 3% reporting a negative growth of 25%+, the lowest since Q2 2012. Online video continues to be the fastest growing advertising format for digital publishers, up 21% year on year. Sponsorship and recruitment continue to perform well, both up 15%. Display grew 12%, while classified advertising revenues were flat during the same period, having previously been in decline during the same period for 2012 vs. 2011. 

UK Digital Publisher Advertising Revenue Growth*
Q2 2013 vs. Q2 2012
AOP & Deloitte DPRI Report, Aug 2013
Advertising Format % Change
Video 21.1%
Recruitment 15.4%
Sponsorship 14.9%
Display 11.7%
Other Classified 0.3%
*Industry average derived from actual revenue data supplied by 27 AOP publisher members. “The second quarter ad revenue growth performance reiterates that seen for the first quarter,” said Tim Cain, Head of Research for the AOP. “Once again premium content publishers performance continues to exceed the online industry as a whole. We also see a notable shift in publisher sentiment in the second quarter of 2013 versus the first, away from cost cutting and towards investment in new products and services, indicating a positive outlook for the coming quarter.” Sentiment Index
The AOP DPRI Report, carried out by Deloitte, is complemented by the AOP Sentiment Index Report, which questions AOP board members on how they anticipate the market to perform over the coming twelve months. Notably, 92% of AOP board members expect growth in digital advertising spend this quarter (Q3 2013) with 92% selecting ‘Advertising revenue growth’ as the highest priority for their business over the next 12 months, maintaining the same level of positivity reported in Q2 2012. Cost reduction was seen as the highest priority for only 33% of publishers surveyed, down from 46% in Q2 2013. Conversely those prioritising the introduction of new products and services to their business grew from 42% in Q2 2013 to 67% in Q3 2013. 

AOP Sentiment Index Gauging Digital Publisher Confidence & Priorities over the next 12 Months* Published in Conjunction with the
Digital Publishers Revenue Index (DPRI), Aug 2013
Sentiment (% of AOP Board Members) % AOP Board Members
Expect growth in digital advertising spend this quarter (92%) 92%
Selected advertising revenue growth as a high priority for their business (92%) 92%
Selected non-advertising revenue growth as a high priority for their business (67%) 67%
Selected new products/services as a high priority for their business (67%) 67%
Selected cost reduction as a high priority of their business (33%) 33% 
*Survey of AOP Board Members. There was a large uplift in expectation of technology advertising spend, potentially driven by competition in the device arena. Of those surveyed, 33% of publishers expected to see a rise in technology advertising spend over the next 12 months, the highest of any sector. Positive Industry Outlook
Confidence amongst digital publishers remains significantly higher than the average seen throughout wider industry. The latest Deloitte CFO Survey polled 135 CFOs of major UK companies, across different sectors, to gauge corporate optimism. Those taking part in the AOP Sentiment Index were found to rank 24% points higher than the cross-industry CFO group when asked if they felt more optimistic about their company’s finances now that they did three months ago.