Digital publishing revenues increase to £165.1m

Gabby Fernie

Digital publishing revenues in the UK increased to £165.1m in Q4 2020, according to the latest quarterly Digital Publishers’ Revenue Index (DPRI) from the Association of Online Publishers (AOP) and business advisory firm Deloitte.

The combination of significant revenue contractions across the full calendar year of 2020, together with strong growth surges in the last quarter, led to a total digital revenue decline of 0.8 per cent compared to the full year 2019.

Display advertising remained the largest revenue category for digital publishers; with an income reaching £78.4m, an increase of 16.8 per cent against Q4 2019. 

There was also a significant increase in subscriptions, growing by 44 per cent compared to the same period in the previous year.

Categories that didn’t perform as well in Q4 2020 include recruitment classifieds (-24.1 per cent), sponsorship (-19.3 per cent) and online video income (-13.9 per cent).

Publisher confidence in the industry continues to stay at a high level, reflecting the wider economic positivity as the UK roadmap to recovery progresses. This sentiment is broadly matched by confidence among AOP board members around the financial prospects of their own businesses.

“The industry has demonstrated unwavering resilience in the face of COVID-19 turmoil over the past year, constantly tackling fresh challenges and finding ways to safeguard revenue," said Managing Director of AOP, Richard Reeves.

"Recovering from the early 2020 decline in revenues, publishers’ hard work is clearly demonstrated by the strong performance in Q4 2020. It’s very positive to see the bounce-back in advertising display revenue to go alongside the positive growth in subscriptions that publishers have been able to deliver across the last 12-months.”