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Digital audio revenues up 500% in Q1 2022

The latest Digital Publishers’ Revenue Index (DPRI) from the Association of Online Publishers (AOP) and Deloitte, published last week, has revealed digital revenue grew 18% to £610.3million on a 12-month moving annual total basis to March 2022.

Digital audio revenues up 500% in Q1 2022
Richard Reeves: “We’ve seen revenue for digital audio grow steadily over the last few quarters, driven in part by what’s being deemed the ‘golden age of podcasts’.” Photograph: C D-X on Unsplash.

During Q1 2022, digital audio saw the strongest growth, increasing by 500% to £4.2million when compared to Q1 2021. Subscriptions also continued to show promising growth, up 14.7% in Q1 2022 to reach an income of £38.2million, confirming that appetite to pay for quality journalism remains strong. Display advertising held its position as the largest category by revenue for digital publishers; with income reaching £66.4million in Q1 2022, an increase of 23.9% against Q1 2021.

Multi-platform revenue saw an increase of 21.7% compared to Q1 2021, while mobile devices and desktop saw revenue declines of 16.1% and 35.2% respectively in Q1 2022. This indicates advertising campaigns are being run across at least two different devices, reflecting the way consumers access content across platforms, says the AOP.

B2B and B2C publishers experienced an uptick in publishing revenues, both on a 12-month rolling basis and as a year-on-year change. B2B revenue increased by 8.7% in March 2022 relative to March 2021, increasing to £52.7 million. Meanwhile, B2C revenue grew by 24.3% in March 2022 vs March 2021, driven by a significant expansion in sponsorship and digital audio.

Half of respondents (50%) reported positive revenue growth, with the strong majority (83%) reporting ‘advertising revenue growth’ as a high priority for their business in the next 12 months. All respondents believe new products will be a key focus for their business in the next year, however cost reduction targets also remain important.

Dan Ison, lead partner for telecommunications, media and entertainment at Deloitte, said: “Many digital publishers have looked to the airwaves for growth in the past two-years, launching radio offerings and podcasts that entice new audiences and spark rising revenues. We know there are as many daily podcast listeners as there are online radio listeners, with one in 10 UK adults under the age of 25 now having access to a paid-for podcast subscription. Tuning into content throughout the day - whether that's while commuting, preparing dinner or driving the car - creates an intimate experience for audiences while engendering loyalty. At a time when the cost-of-living crisis is squeezing household finances, many will be questioning the necessity of their media subscriptions. This makes it all the more important for publishers to be concentrating on the creation of regular, unmissable content.”

Richard Reeves, Managing Director at AOP, commented: “We’ve seen revenue for digital audio grow steadily over the last few quarters, driven in part by what’s being deemed the ‘golden age of podcasts’. The 500% revenue growth reported for this channel in Q1 2022 demonstrates that publishers are now successfully monetising this type of content. It’s also interesting to see the drop in revenue for mobile and desktop-only devices, as this indicates the continued shift towards multi channel campaigns.”


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