A five-year analysis of UK Companies House Data highlights the rapidly evolving publisher landscape.
According to an analysis of five years’ worth of UK Companies House Data, digital publishing has seen significant growth. By contrast, traditional publishing has either stayed flat or witnessed declines.
Whilst the data will perhaps not come as a surprise to industry professionals, it underlines the headwinds that have faced traditional publishers since 2018.
At a glance takeaways:
- The number of new businesses dedicated to newspaper publishing has stayed flat (0%)
- The number of ventures focused on ‘other publishing activities’, which includes pure-play digital publishing, has grown by 16%
- The number of advertising agencies has grown by 66%
- The number of new businesses dedicated to the publishing of consumer and business titles (both online and print) has dropped 24%
- The number of PR and comms businesses has dropped 25%
The data reveals that the publishing of newspapers has plateaued, with the number of new businesses established for this purpose last year being exactly the same as in 2018 – or a change of 0%.
And, while the number of new businesses dedicated to the publishing of consumer and business titles has dropped by 24% compared to five years ago, the number of ventures focused on ‘other publishing activities’, which includes digital publishing, has grown by 16%.
It’s clear that the popularity of companies focused on more traditional publishing, like newspapers and trade magazines, is either plateauing or in decline, while other publishing companies—most likely driven by digital channels—are on the rise.”Matthew Robinson, Client Service Director, Definition
Of particular concern is the reduction in new PR companies by 25%, a significant decline by any measure, creating further challenges for publishers reliant on close working relationships with communications companies for their stories.
“Companies House data can be a useful indicator of business sentiment,” said Matthew Robinson, client service director, at B2B PR agency Definition who conducted the research. “It seems that the rate at which new PR and comms businesses are being established has slowed considerably, particularly in the last few years which have been marred by economic disruption and uncertainty. The advertising industry, on the other hand, appears not to have been affected in the same way.”