Digital Publishing Reader Revenue Top Stories
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Publishers: Revenue sources and investment priorities, from the Specialist Media Innovators

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Europe’s specialist media innovators share where they are investing and their main revenue sources

This is an excerpt from our free-to-download report, Specialist Media Innovators in Europe

We surveyed senior leaders at 56 publishers from across Europe and the UK. A mix of B2B and consumer markets, and a broad spread of size, from under €1m to over €50m turnover. 

Here’s where they are investing and their main revenue sources.

Which revenue streams do you have?

Advertising-related revenue streams were widespread, with display advertising, sponsored content, sponsored webinars, marketing services most popular.

Subscriptions and membership propositions were widely adopted.

In person events have rebounded to a core revenue stream, although virtual and hybrid formats are still common.

Other popular new revenue streams include podcasts, consulting, data and insight, licensing, research and e-commerce

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Which are major earners and investment candidates?

The revenue streams considered major earners by most publishers are subscriptions, advertising and in person events, followed by membership and sponsored content.

Subs, advertising, in person events and membership are most likely to be earmarked for investment.  Although data and insight, marketing services and e-commerce are also popular investment areas.

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What are the major challenges?

Top two challenges as seen by media leaders are Artificial Intelligence (AI) and developing new revenue streams.  There is also concern about subscriptions and membership churn, and arresting ad decline.

Media businesses are aware that their audiences are changing.  Hiring talent, staffing and culture are seen as significant challenges.

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What are the main opportunities?

Media leaders are aware of the value of diving deeper into their niches, rated as the greatest opportunity, closely followed by exploring and implementing AI.  New Product Development is a strong third largest opportunity.  Also important are first party data, creating new storytelling formats and finding workflow efficiencies.

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What are the most important platforms?

Web is still by far the most important platform, followed by newsletters and social media.  In person events are some distance ahead of virtual events, and podcasts, despite the hype, are less highly rated.  

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Where are you focussing tech investment?

Media leaders’ top three priorities for investment in tech platforms are Content Management Systems (CMS), data and analytics and AI driven tools and platforms.  

Next three are subs/membership management, CRM and email/newsletter platforms.


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The “Specialist Media Innovators in Europe” report is free and available to download here.