According to the survey, recruitment classifieds and other classifieds continued to see the strongest growth for publishers in Q3 2022, increasing by 21.4% and 27.3% respectively, as compared to Q3 2021. Display advertising also shows steady growth of 13.9% – from £59.8 million in Q3 2021 to £68.1 million Q3 2022 – with subscriptions another area tracking positively this quarter, up 12.1% vs the same quarter last year. The increase in subscription revenues demonstrates audience willingness to pay for quality content, even during a cost-of-living crisis, says the AOP.
When it comes to revenue by platform, the survey revealed that multi-platform and mobile devices saw an increase of 5.9% and 15.7% respectively, as compared to Q3 2021. Meanwhile, revenue from desktop-only devices continues its downward trajectory, declining by 16.9% – from £30.2 million in Q3 2021 to £25.1 million in Q3 2022. This reflects the way consumers continue to seek out content across multiple devices, with ad campaigns running across several platforms to mirror this behaviour. As a result, desktop-only display advertising revenue saw a decline of 6.6% in Q3 2022, as compared with Q3 2021.
On a twelve-month rolling basis, total digital revenue has increased to £632.1 million (up by 6.6%), with both B2B and B2C publishers experiencing an uptick in revenues. B2B revenue increased by 12.2% to £55.9 million in September 2022 on a 12-month rolling basis, driven by the growth of display formats, classifieds, and subscriptions. Meanwhile, B2C revenue grew by 6.1% in September 2022 on a 12-month rolling basis.
Half of those surveyed (50%) reported positive revenue growth in Q3 2022, with 100% of respondents believing that new products will once again be a high priority for their business over the next year, alongside non-advertising growth (83%) and cost reduction targets (66%).
Dan Ison, lead partner for telecommunications, media and entertainment at Deloitte, said: “The ongoing growth of the digital publishing market, despite increased strain on spending power, is a reflection of the tenacity of publishers and a strong online market. Recruitment classified channels remained the biggest performer this quarter as employers continued to use their digital platforms as a key tool to attract talent. Meanwhile, it is the sustained growth of display advertising and subscriptions that represents the fierce appetite for digital content. It is clear that consumers are still willing to pay for top-tier content, even with squeezed budgets, which paints a positive outlook for publishing.”
Richard Reeves, Managing Director at AOP, commented: “I’m delighted to see areas of growth in the year-on-year data, as well as positive sentiment from our members, despite a heavily disrupted Q3. While unsurprising to see the ongoing decline of desktop, as publishers continue to prioritise shorter, punchier editorial across devices like mobile, it was interesting to note just how steep the drop in revenue was for the platform this quarter.
“Back on the positive side of things, the boost in subscriptions revenue is very encouraging and reinforces the crucial role quality content creators play in the future of digital. At a time when false information is rife, it’s clear people are more willing than ever to pay for quality content they can trust.”
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