Press Release: Publishing Profitability Survey Shows Mix of Optimism, Naiveté
SAN FRANCISCO, May 12, 2014 - Publishers today have surprisingly little knowledge of which and how many third-party companies - such as Google, advertising vendors and others - are accessing and profiting from their user and audience data. That was one of the results revealed today in the Cxense Publishing Profitability Survey. The survey of more than 380 qualified US publishing executives, conducted by Cxense in conjunction with Editor and Publisher magazine, showed that nearly 80 percent of respondents simply do not know who accesses their audience data. The survey results were released at the International News Media Association (INMA) World Congress by Cxense (Booth 9).
Of publishers that understand which third-party companies access their data, more than 20% acknowledged that the third parties are "likely earning more money from our data than we are." Nearly 70% of the respondents said sites like Google, Yahoo and Facebook that pull content from their site and use their data are "frenemies," while 16% of respondents consider them enemies.
The survey also showed that readers are accessing publishers' content via mobile phones more often than through print, tablet devices or personal computers. In fact, 34% ranked print as the least important means for readers to access content.
Will Publishing Bounce Back?
More than a third of respondents said they don't believe the U.S. news media industry's ad revenues will ever surpass its all-time high from 2005, while about 29% said they believe they may surpass the 2005 numbers in 2-5 years. About 31% said they don't expect the numbers to surpass 2005's high for 5-to-10 years, and just 6% said they expect the numbers will surpass 2005's high during the next 2 years.
Nearly 89% of respondents were optimistic that their company's digital revenues will grow during the next 12 months. 36% of respondents ranked "showing advertisers we understand our readers and can target them effectively" as the key to increasing their revenues. Nearly 26% said "making content personalized for each site visitor to increase loyalty and time on site" as most important to future revenues, followed by "converting readers to paid subscribers" at about 22%. Around 11% of respondents ranked "making advertising personalized for each site visitor to increase effectiveness" as most important, with "introducing e-commerce to publisher sites" ranking fifth at less than 6%.