Association of online publishers Helping media owners build better digital business

AOP Organisation Census 2010

The results from the annual Organisation Census released today by AOP show the industry is optimistic for 2010.

Download the full reportDownload Type: ppt
Download Size: 767k
- AOP members only.

All the media owners who took part in the survey, representing 1,500 publications and brands, are predicting positive revenue growth in 2010, with 50% of respondents predicting strong growth of 10%+. The main areas for growth are expected to be in display ads, with video particularly expected to show significant growth this year, whilst a range of other revenue streams will increasingly contribute to turnover.

AOP Organisational Census Videos, featuring AOP Board Members

Tim Faircliff, General Manager of Consumer Media at Thomson Reuters and Chairman of AOP stated: “The findings from the AOP census are broadly consistent with how I see the year panning out for Thomson Reuters and the industry. A return to growth will provide all our businesses with a renewed energy and focus on people skills, revenue generation and business models plus the opportunity for exciting innovation around mobile and video. The challenge will be how fast we can gear up to drive these initiatives forward.”

The AOP Census had a 100% response rate this year, and across the board, media owners are planning proactive and positive investment in the year ahead for their businesses. Of the respondents, 75% were planning to increase overall investment in their digital businesses. Just under half will increase their investment in training, whilst a similar number will keep their current level of investment.

Staffing levels look set to rise with over 50% of media owners expecting to increase staff in 2010 a far higher number than in 2009. Despite this, media owners are still finding it hard to fill vacancies in most disciplines, editorial being the notable exception. Finding quality staff and retaining them will be an ongoing challenge in 2010.

The skills areas where most media owners are likely to be applying investment this year are led by mobile (75%) and cross-media (53%); whilst over 40% of media owners will also invest in database and audience development, video, advertising operations, and the core skills of editorial, sales, research and marketing.

Priorities for investment though clearly suggest that ad sales is the area most will support, 48% suggesting it’s a top 3 priority for their business, followed by 33% who see editorial skills as a top 3 priority and then 25% who view database and data analysis skills in a similar vein. Advertising will continue to be a major contributor despite the growth of interest in pay walls and diversification of revenue streams, and skill-sets will need to be developed around both sales and analytics challenges as trading rules continue to develop in terms of sophistication. The focus on new skills and re-skilling existing staff will be at the core of every media owner’s agenda in 2010 as people issues gain more prominence.

Broadening and diversifying business models is the single biggest challenge publishers believe they face this year. They are gearing up by creating investment in the key skills areas highlighted earlier but also by developing technology partnerships to advance faster and more efficiently. Publishers have identified that achieving the right investment levels to deliver the technology requirements is also a significant challenge and 60% of media owners plan to increase their partner activity in 2010 as they strive to establish new platforms and revenue models.

Join the AOP group on LinkedIn - open for all Members to join
Subscribe to AOP's e-newsletter.