Think Ad Revenue Is All Going Online? Think Again.
While there is no denying the digital revolution, a new study by Publishing Executive, called the “2008 Publishing Advertising Trends Study,” shows that online revenue is not exceeding print revenue for most publishers … and the majority of publishers don’t expect it to—that’s right, ever.
For the study, Publishing Executive worked with independent research company Readex Research to survey Publishing Executives from a variety of industry segments including business-to-business (b-to-b), consumer, association and professional publishing. More than 250 publishers participated.
What did the study’s findings reveal? For starters, 89 percent of respondents said their organization’s current online revenue does not exceed its print revenue. (In this case, online revenue included Web sites, e-newsletters and webinars/webcasts.) Nine percent of respondents said that their current online revenue already exceeds their print revenue.
While that may not come as a big shock (though the 9 percent whose online revenue already exceeds print may be higher than some of us would expect), this next finding might: More than two-thirds (68 percent) of respondents reported that they do not anticipate their organizations’ online revenue will exceed their print revenue in the future. Twenty-eight percent said they anticipate their online revenue will surpass their print revenue.
However, as for the 28 percent of respondents who anticipate that their online revenue will exceed print, they seem to expect the change will occur fairly quickly—74 percent said they expect their organizations’ online revenue to exceed their print revenue within the next five years.
The number of respondents who don’t think their online revenue will exceed their print revenue may come as a surprise, especially since—at least among b-to-b publishers—magazine revenues were expected to post a 4-percent drop in 2007, while digital content revenue was slated to increase 20 percent, according to statistics from industry association American Business Media (ABM) that appeared in a February 2008 article in Publishing Executive, titled “Special Report: Your Guide to the 2008 Media ‘Brandscape.’ ” ABM CEO Gordon Hughes also stated in that article that digital’s growth rate puts it on a pace to surpass print magazines by 2011 at the latest.