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Strong growth in sponsorship and subscriptions boosts revenue for B2B publishers

London, UK, 14th December 2016: B2B publishers have experienced a 2.3% growth in revenue relative to the same quarter last year, according to the latest figures from the Digital Publishers Revenue Index (DPRI), a quarterly report of UK publishers from AOP and Deloitte. The increase in quarterly revenue for B2B publishers was principally driven by strong growth in sponsorship and subscriptions, which, compared to Q3 2015, have grown by 47% and 28% respectively.


On a 12-month rolling basis to September 2016, total DPRI revenues for B2B and B2C publishers who responded to the survey grew by 2.0% to £306.1m, compared to the 12-month period ending September 2015. B2B publisher revenue grew by 5.0% across the same annual period.


In the 12 months to September 2016 – across B2B and B2C publishers – display remains the largest revenue category across all platforms at 37% of total revenue. Sponsorship and subscriptions account for 21% and 15% respectively.


The research, which also measures the confidence of AOP board members, found that respondents’ overall optimism about the financial prospects of the digital publishing industry declined slightly from the previous quarter. However, AOP board members have increased their growth forecasts for the year ahead, rising to 4.8% in Q3 2016, almost double that from the previous quarter (2.5%).


Richard Reeves, Managing Director, AOP, commented: “It’s interesting to see sponsorship doing so well at a time when increased focus and revenue is being allocated to programmatic trading.” Reeves continued: “While programmatic offers a valuable strategy, the increase in sponsorship revenue demonstrates that context and content-related marketing continues to be imperative to both publishers and their advertisers. The careful balancing of both programmatic and native advertising spend is a trend we expect to see continuing throughout 2017.”


Dan Ison, lead partner for media and entertainment at Deloitte, commented: “The industry is once again proving resilient in the face of macroeconomic uncertainty. Whilst publishers’ optimism has fallen slightly from the previous quarter, it is reassuring to see that the industry’s confidence remains above that of Deloitte’s latest CFO Survey*. In general, the publishing industry appears to be adopting a defensive strategy: shifting away from the introduction of new products and expansion and instead favouring cost reduction and growing existing revenue streams.”


Notes to Editor

*The sentiment of business leaders was taken from Deloitte’s Q3 2016 CFO survey, a quarterly survey of Chief Financial Officers and Group Finance Directors of more than 100 leading FTSE companies in the UK. The 2016 survey took place between 12th and 26th September.

About the DPRI Report

The Q3 2016 DPRI report – conducted by AOP and Deloitte – is based on a survey of 20 UK digital publishers comprising 14 B2C publishers and six B2B publishers. The aim of the report is to provide an overview of revenue levels across multiple channels and platforms – as well as insight into publisher sentiment – and to benchmark these findings against previous quarters. The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

About the Association for Online Publishing

The Association for Online Publishing (AOP) is an industry body representing digital publishing companies that create original, branded, quality content. AOP champions the interests of media owners from diverse backgrounds including newspaper and magazine publishing, TV and radio broadcasting, and pure online media. For more information, please visit


About Deloitte

In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country’s leading professional services firms.


Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) does not provide services to clients. Please see About Deloitte to learn more about our global network of member firms.


The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

For more information, please visit


AOP Press Contact

Amy Lawrence, GingerMay PR


Tel: +44 (0) 203 642 1124

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