Display Revenue Was Way Down For UK Publishers In Q4, Study Finds

Here are some results from U.K. publishers that could be mirrored in the U.S.

Overall digital revenue fell by 1.8% in Q4 2023 despite strong growth in the subscription, audio and sponsorship areas.

The reason was a 17.2% decline in advertising sales, according to the Digital Publishers’ Revenue Index (DPRI) from the Association of Online Publishers (AOP) and Deloitte.

Overall revenue totaled £174 million. 

“This quarter’s results are a wakeup call suggesting that relying on display revenues is a risk for publishers, as subscriptions continue growing year-on-year,” says Andy Cowen, lead partner for telecommunications, media and entertainment at Deloitte.

Cowen adds: “Audio meanwhile is a small but bright star, recording a 300% increase this quarter, following a 500% increase the previous quarter. Should this trend continue, this currently modest category could become a key revenue driver, and should be a priority for publishers seeking diversified, incremental growth.”



At the same time, subscription revenue jumped by 10.3% and sponsorships by 31.1%. 

But video advertising, which makes up only 4.6% of total revenue, fell by 24.5%.

Half of all publishers reported revenue growth in Q4, but 75% are focused on cost reductions, up from 50% in the prior quarter. 

The Q4 2023 DPRI report is based on a survey of 13 U.K. digital publishers, including nine B2C publishers  and four B2B publishers.


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