Search site

Become an AOP member

More details


Publishers’ digital revenue up by 3% in Q4 2022, reports AOP and Deloitte

Published: 09 Mar 2023

Total digital publishing revenue was £176.9 million in Q4 2022, with 75% of respondents reporting strong confidence in advertising revenue growth

London, UK, 9th March: The latest Digital Publishers’ Revenue Index (DPRI) from the Association of Online Publishers (AOP) and Deloitte reveals total digital revenue for Q4 2022 was £176.9 million, up by 3% from Q4 2021.

Subscriptions saw the strongest growth for publishers in Q4 2022, increasing by 12.9% compared to Q4 2021, showing that audiences continue to prioritise premium content despite cost-of-living pressures. Display advertising and video revenues remained relatively static at 0.1% and -1.9% growth respectively, while recruitment classifieds and other classifieds — growth leaders in Q3 2022 — fell by 3.6% and 10.7%. Sponsorships saw the biggest decline in revenues at -24%.

When splitting revenues by platform, the survey reveals a continuation of the shift away from desktop-only devices to mobile devices, with mobile growing 16.7% versus Q4 2021 and desktop falling 9.5%. Multi-platform revenues — by far the largest category at £121.6 million, compared to £28.7 million for desktop-only and £26.6 million for mobile-only — increased by 3.7%, driven by substantial growth in video (33.3%), subscriptions (12.9%), and display advertising (8.1%).

Total digital revenues increased to £637.7 million when assessed on a 12-month rolling basis, up 4.4% compared to 2021. Despite its quarterly decline, revenues from recruitment classifieds stayed strong at 16.9% year-on-year, as did display advertising revenues (16.6%) and subscriptions (11.3%). On a 12-month rolling basis, B2B and B2C publishers experienced growth of 6.8% and 4.2% respectively.

Though revenues are trending positively, they are somewhat concentrated among the highest performers, as less than half (43%) of respondents reported growth. There are also signs that economic pressures are being felt, with cost reductions now prioritised by 75% of respondents, up from 50% in Q4 2021. However, there is increased optimism around advertising revenues, with 75% of respondents showing confidence in the category, compared to just half in 2021’s Q4 survey.

Dan Ison, lead partner for telecommunications, media and entertainment at Deloitte, said:

“It is reassuring to see that there is optimism amongst publishers, with 75% confident in the outlook for advertising revenues compared to just half at the same time last year.

“Many consumers remain committed to their subscriptions, despite tighter budgets as a result of higher cost of living. It is evident that the appetite for exclusive content remains intact, making it even more important for digital publishers to continue to prioritise consistent, high quality outputs to maintain consumer interest and drive growth.”

Richard Reeves, Managing Director at AOP, commented: “It’s encouraging to see modest but positive revenue growth in the industry, despite the unsettled economic conditions. Subscription strategies, in particular, continue to pay off — far from a given in this period of consumer purse-tightening — which is a testament to the quality of content produced by premium publishers.

“Looking ahead, there are signs that the slight uptick in year-on-year revenues may be the start of a broader trend, with publishers showing high confidence in ad revenues and inflationary pressures soon reaching their peak. Hopefully this will ease cost pressures and better balance the share of growth across the industry, which is currently a little too top-heavy.”


Notes to Editor

UK Digital Publisher Revenue (based on revenues for AOP publisher members)

AOP & Deloitte DPRI report

MAT to Dec 2022 vs. MAT to Dec 2021

(% change)

Q4 2022 vs. Q4 2021

(% change)

Total DPRI revenue



Display advertising






Online Video









Other Classified






About the DPRI Report

The Q4 2022 DPRI report – conducted by AOP and Deloitte – is based on a survey of 13 UK digital publishers comprising nine B2C publishers and four 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.

While the DPRI revenue index records a look-back of data over Q4 2022; the publisher sentiment index considers Board member observations given in Q1 2023 to provide a timelier understanding of current feelings. This is a reporting change implemented in 2019.

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

About Association of Online Publishers

Association of Online Publishers (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 one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity.

Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

Deloitte LLP is a subsidiary of Deloitte NSE LLP, which is a member firm of DTTL, and is among the UK's leading professional services firms.

For more information, please visit


AOP News | Research