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Digital publishers see massive growth in 2006

UK digital publishers experienced an average 60 per cent increase in turnover in 2006, and are predicting an average of 72 per cent growth for 2007 – double what they were forecasting this time last year.

The latest membership survey from the UK Association of Online Publishers, the AOP Census 2007, found that digital now contributes an average of 12 per cent of members’ overall revenue.

Total turnover for AOP members’ digital operations increased to £575m, up from £344m the previous year.

Advertising contributes the largest share of online revenue for digital publishers at 75 per cent. Display advertising (including sponsorship) contributes 59 per cent of overall income, classifieds contribute 16 per cent, and paid-for content (including syndication) contributes 12 per cent of revenues. Revenue from paid-for content increased by 50 per cent in 2006. Nearly half (46 per cent) of AOP members charge for content, up from 37 per cent in 2006.

AOP members employ nearly 8,000 individuals in the digital side of their businesses, with 540 new jobs created in the last year alone by AOP members.

Publishers see broadband, mobile (and wireless) and communities as the biggest opportunities for the industry in 2007. The biggest threats identified were the number of new competitors, security, and Government/legal restrictions.

Simon Waldman, AOP chairman and group director of digital strategy, Guardian Media Group, said: “This is a remarkable set of figures. 2006 was a year of spectacular digital growth, innovation and investment by the UK's media industry - and our forecasts show there is no sign of this letting up.”

AOP members can access the report here.members only

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