Publishers see 52% growth in online revenues

Digital publishers experienced a 52% year-on-year increase in total revenues for 2007, according to the Association of Online Publishers.

The AOP said that 31% of publishers had also predicted growth in the coming year, despite a worsening economic outlook.

The association found that the dominant theme of its 2008 Census of members' businesses is one of confidence in the current ad model, with more than 80% believing it to be sustainable.

The report also identified key areas of opportunity, with user -generated content, broadband, and behavioural targeting being the top three.

Content streaming and mobile marketing were not far behind as other areas of key interest for publishers looking to develop their digital businesses.

As well as main areas of opportunity, the report also identified areas that publishers are concerned about and see as possible threats. Number one in this list was competition, followed closely by the economy.

Other issues of concern are government and legal restrictions; along with the Google and DoubleClick merger, and the powerbase that will create in the online advertising market.

Ruth Brownlee, AOP director, said that companies were embracing new platforms and formats for the future, as well as investing in getting the right people to make this happen within their businesses.

She also pointed to a key issue for the AOP in the coming year of online accountability and calls for an online measurement tool standard: "The AOP invests extensively in audience research, and we will be tackling some of the issues through our active working groups: particularly how we can support a standard online measurement tool."

"Overall, I'm encouraged that our members are confident about the industry and we look forward to continuing the debates in AOP forums and conferences through the coming year."

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