Association of online publishers Helping media owners build better digital business

AOP Census 2009

The results from the seventh annual AOP Census survey released today reveals that UK online publishers predict a 16% growth in their digital revenues in 2009

Members can download the AOP Census 2009 report here.Download Type: ppt
Download Size: 526k

The Census was conducted from 9 February to 2 March 2009. Against the backdrop of economic uncertainty, digital publishers remain pragmatic about the long-term future of their businesses, but are intent on investing in people skills and business functions in 2009. 63% of online publishers expect to increase their digital investment this year, with only 7% anticipating a decrease in investment.

"Motivating insight" into mood of industry

Alison Reay, AOP Chairman and Digital & Multi-media Director Telegraph Media Group, said, "Given the global trading climate we’re operating in, this is a motivating insight into the mood of UK publishers for the coming year and it’s encouraging that they remain focused on developing their offering for their audiences in both B2B and B2C areas."

"AOP members are able to draw on a diverse range of revenue streams, and are less dependent on advertising income only. They are therefore able to offer a strong and credible stance in defending their business position in 2009."

Continued Investment

Pressure on advertising pricing and the development of multi-media sales teams are challenges that were raised by publishers in this year’s survey. Respondents to the Census have highlighted that they will invest in better skilled teams and technical infrastructure; priorities for investment identified are in building offline and online cross-media skilled teams (51%); and in technology and innovation (28%).


One of the main trends to emerge from the study is the move towards integration of staff across traditional and digital businesses, with 65% of respondents expecting more functions across departments including advertising planning/research; editorial; product/brand research and advertising sales - to be integrated in 2009.


Training remains an important area of investment with 40% increasing their budgets, and 51% keeping their training budgets at the same level as 2008. Audience Development features regularly in the Census - in 2009 this is identified as the top skills priority for attention by members questioned.

New structure for AOP Census

In a change in format, the AOP Census has been split into two parts this year and was conducted in-house under the supervision of Tim Cain, AOP’s Head of Research and Insight, appointed in January 2009.

The initial Census report published today provides an overview of the online publishing industry and future planning: including business achievement and revenue. The second part of the Census survey, due to be conducted and published later in the year, will cover content, content delivery, trends, opinions, threats and opportunities.

Tim Cain, AOP’s Head of Research and Insight added, "This year’s Census has highlighted that the revenue model for advertising doesn’t appear to be significantly shifting. Whilst we’re seeing CPC increasingly adopted as a pricing mechanism (up 50% year on year) the advertising model is still predominantly led by CPM (89%) and sponsorship (84%), which are also being used more widely amongst publishers."

Members can download the AOP Census 2009 report here.Download Type: ppt
Download Size: 526k

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