Digital Publishing Reader Revenue
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Digital shift accelerates for publishers, with subscriptions countering decline in print ads revenue: WARC

For publishers, the coronavirus-induced growth in digital audiences appears to have lasted beyond the initial outbreak, WARC reports.

For many publishers, digital activity has been the area of growth, reports the World Advertising Research Center. 

Data from the Advertising Association and WARC shows that digital ad revenue doubled in value between 2011 and 2019. Over the same period, print investment more than halved.

A shift to digital is the strategy of choice for many advertisers, with the total level of print investment expected to be largely flat.

It is digital subscriptions that have generated the most attention as a way of countering the decline in print advertising revenue. For publishers, the coronavirus-induced growth in digital audiences appears to have lasted beyond the initial outbreak.

Rob Clapp, WARC

An analysis of more than 300 clients of Pugpig, which include publishers like News Corp, Condé Nast and The Economist, shows monthly app users for daily news brands rising by 79% in April 2020. This strong growth lasted throughout the summer as well.

There are other signs of success. 

The Times has focused on quality audiences in order to reduce subscriber churn, while the Financial Times and The Telegraph have used reader engagement to drive growth. At the same time, expanding into new content areas has proven valuable for both GQ and The San Francisco Chronicle.

From the latest WARC Trends report.

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