UK Publishers See Little Future In Programmatic, Study Finds

Few UK publishers expect open programmatic to be their main advertising revenue driver three years from now, according to "Digital Publishing: Outlook and Priorities for 2023," a study by the Association of Online Publishers (AOP). 

Only 14% say open programmatic will be their main source of ad revenue growth. In addition, 42% feel non-programmatic direct deals will be their biggest opportunity.  

And 44% say private marketplaces are a  big potential source of advertising.  

“The trend away from open programmatic is unsurprising, as frustrations around transparency and equitable revenues have been mounting for years,” states Richard Reeves, Managing Director at AOP.

Potential revenue growth depends on the type of company. 

B2B publishers list these as their most productive:

  • Lead generation—28% 
  • Events—22%
  • Sponsorships—20% 



For B2C publishers, the list is as follows: 

  • Subscriptions—17% 
  • Events—15% 
  • Display advertising—13% 

Publishers that cover both B2B and B2C see growth in: 

  • Ecommerce—23% 
  • Affiliate marketing—19%

In general, publishers are focusing on:

  • Improving the engagement funnel to build up first-party data—23%
  • implementing tech solutions for a 360-degree audience view—15%
  • investing in personaliszed user experience solutions—15% 

In addition, 58% are investing in tools to ensure audience data informs everything they do, but 21% admit to not having a internal strategy in place around audience data – although that’s up from 4% last year. 

AOP surveyed 92 publishers and 16 solutions providers between Dec. 5, 2022 and Jan. 11, 2023. 




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