According to a 2022 survey by the British Association for Digital Publishing (AOP), more than half of publishers prioritize subscriptions as their main area of revenue growth over the next three years. Other top publisher priorities highlighted in the AOP report include lead generation, audio, and e-commerce.
Take away food
- The subscription focus put forward by the AOPs Digital publication: Report on the future 2022 is no surprise. Sluggish ad revenue and newsstand sales have long pushed reader revenue strategies to the fore. That a solid 55% of publishers surveyed by AOP are following a subscription development path is confirmation of what we already knew.
- Perhaps more telling is the positioning of revenue opportunities that follow subscriptions on publisher priority lists. Display advertising is stuck in eighth place, with only 20% of publishers showing that growth is possible in a sector dominated by the Triopoly. Fifth on the list, Sponsorship fares better, showing potential for around a quarter of publishers.
- Perhaps reflecting the damage COVID-19 has inflicted on the conference and exhibition industry since 2020, events are number six on AOP’s list of growth potential. Less than a quarter of publishers surveyed see events as a priority, a sharp turnaround from just a few years ago when events were high on each publisher’s agenda.
- Second on the list, lead generation was highlighted as an area with high growth potential by a third of AOP survey publishers. The report’s authors point out that, alongside the growth of subscriptions, the focus on securing leads highlights the importance of building direct relationships and opportunities to leverage their first-party data.
- reflecting the exponential growth in publisher e-commerce Since the start of the pandemic, e-commerce has been cited as a priority growth area by 31% of AOP survey respondents. Developing e-commerce revenue aligns with the key strategic priority highlighted in the report – developing new revenue streams through product innovation.
- Neck and neck with e-commerce growing potential, 31% of publishers surveyed identified audio products as having strong revenue potential. This covers on-page audio, podcasts and internet radio and, given the growth of e-commerce over the past couple of years, shows surprising optimism about the potential of audio.
Other organizational priorities cited by publishers include a focus on audience and subscriber development. Publishers are also working to refine their economic models in the face of commercial and regulatory developments. Richard Reeves, Chief Executive of AOP, said:
We already know that publishers have successfully weaned themselves off of an ad-only reliance and continue to focus on new and alternative revenue streams, which is reflected in the bottom line.
Somewhat surprisingly, recruiting and retaining talent, as well as ensuring a diverse and inclusive workplace, are rated higher than the technology-driven challenges the digital publishing industry would be expected to address. focus.
While 70% of publishers said they face recruitment challenges across all areas of their business, respondents believe having more diverse journalistic talent is the most effective way to address the growing misinformation challenge.
This article originally appeared in Spiny Trends and is republished with permission. Spiny Trends provides the industry news updates and analysis you need to stay in the know if you run a media and publishing business. Subscribe to a weekly email digest here.