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UK publishers focus on value of data in AOP Contents & Trends Census 2011

AOP’s 2011 Content & Trends Census, published today, reveals UK publishers will focus on audience profiling in the next 12 months, while driving content across multiple platforms. Underpinned by commercial drivers, publishers plan to continue developing how they gather and refine data to help develop new revenue streams.

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The unique survey, now in its ninth year, shows that 86% of respondents have acknowledged that they are 'under-utilising their data assets'. While advertising continues to be named as the dominant revenue generator, media owners continue to embrace different revenue models including metered access, subscriptions, micro-payments, freemium or a combined subscription package for online and offline content. Of these, publishers expect to adopt freemium and micro-payments more widely in the next 12 months:
AOP Census 2011 - paid content: which has legs, freemium or micropayments?
Tim Cain, Head of Research and Insight at AOP, who managed the research says: “The Content and Trends Census has emphasised the growing importance of data to publishers, an area all are actively involved in developing, with many currently in a period of learning and experimentation. However, as interest in data develops, the threat of regulation - via government, legal restrictions and in particular the EU Privacy Directive - is seen to be the major threat the industry faces, with the only bigger threat being the economy.”  AOP members have also said they plan to review registration levels to access content and sites, in return for free access to some content:
AOP Census 2011: Main learnings around gathering user registration data
Publishers have indicated that they are increasingly taking a platform-agnostic approach: iPad/tablet apps and digital editions are now seen by 42% of publishers as the primary platforms for paid content.  Compared to last year when publishers believed the main opportunity for paid content would be through their core website. 

The revenue opportunity on mobile devices is seen by publishers as greatest through mobile apps sponsorship; unique mobile ad formats via apps and mobile internet sponsorship. Publishers have acted on this conviction, with eight in ten investing in m.sites, and almost nine in ten publishers having mobile-optimised sites.  Digital editions are being published by 3 out of 4 publishers, and almost one in two are publishing via an eReader.

Tim Cain, Head of Research and Insight at AOP, continues, “The other strong thread running through this year’s Census is the emphasis on mobile devices and the focus on opportunities for publishing via smartphone and tablets. The Census indicated that four out of ten publishers see mobile internet development and mobile apps as the most significant trend of the next 12 months, and a further 20% believe that leading trend to be specifically in the shape of iPad and other tablets as a platform for digital editions.”

Top 3 Opportunities (% of publishers seeing opportunity/major opportunity for their businesses in the next 12 months) 1.    iPad/other tablets (94%)
2.    Adoption of smartphones (92%)
3.    Mobile Web (81%)

Top 3 Threats (% of publishers identifying threats or major threats in the next 12 months) 1.      Economy (67%)
2.      Government & Legal Restrictions (50%)
3.      EU privacy directive (48%)

Lee Baker, Director of AOP, adds: “The Census is a valuable insight into the UK digital publishing landscape.  Our members are conscious that they need to look at maximising revenue streams, and the value of the data they have through loyal and committed subscribers.  We will explore this theme in the flagship AOP Summit in October, when our programme of stellar keynote speakers and panellists will discuss, debate and showcase ways that publishers can secure their commercial futures while responding to the requirements of their audiences.” The AOP Content & Trends Census is a forward view of the UK publishing industry, looking at business models, content delivery mechanisms and what UK publishers identify as future trends, and current opportunities and threats to their businesses.  This year’s report includes responses from 37 Board and Affiliate AOP Members, in newspaper and magazine publishing, TV and radio broadcasting and pure online media, representing over 1500 respected brands and publications producing original, branded, premium and quality content. Download the full report (Powerpoint)Download Type: ppt
Download Size: 1216k
/ or as a PDF documentDownload Type: pdf
Download Size: 819k
(AOP members only.) Census Wordle created with

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