UK Publishers’ Digital Revenues Grow to £416.2 Million in 2015

Latest AOP and Deloitte report reveals publishers have experienced annual revenue growth driven by online video, sponsorship, and mobile advertising

London, UK – ­ Deloitte, the professional services firm, and the Association of Online Publishers (AOP) have today unveiled the findings from the latest Digital Publishers Revenue Index report (DPRI) showing UK publishers experienced overall revenue growth of 5.2% in 2015.

While display advertising remains the largest single revenue category ­ accounting for 46% of total revenue the report shows that overall revenue growth was driven by three formats: online video, with an increase of 27%; sponsorship, which has risen by 19%; and mobile, which has grown by 11%.

Although desktop display retains its position as the most significant source of advertising revenue, it has experienced a slow but steady decline over the last 12 months. In contrast, video advertising demonstrated positive growth throughout the year, reporting an annual increase of 43.1% in the fourth quarter alone.

Mobile continues to perform well for the industry. Advertising revenue has seen growth of 11%, largely driven by smartphone display advertising (43% increase), as well as the introduction of larger-screen smartphones that have successfully competed for tablet revenue (11% decline). Significantly, mobile advertising revenue now accounts for 10.2% of total revenue, up from 9.6% in 2014.

The DPRI report reveals seven years of sustained growth in video and mobile advertising revenue, which has surpassed £50 million for the first time.

Richard Reeves, Managing Director at AOP, commented: “Sustained growth over a seven year period demonstrates how online publishers have continued to adapt to a rapidly changing online environment ­ this can be seen from the rise of video ad formats in 2015. In addition, the sharp increase in sponsorship revenue demonstrates publishers’ desire to introduce more dynamic and meaningful formats, in response to advertiser demands.”

Howard Davies, media partner at Deloitte, said: “New third party distribution platforms, as well as the emergence of mobile ad-blockers, were just some of the challenges faced by online publishers in 2015. Yet, on average, mobile device revenues demonstrated double-digit growth each month throughout 2015. This is a clear indication that the UK’s online publishers are adjusting their business models in order to develop mobile-optimised content.”


UK Digital Publisher Advertising Revenue Growth
Q4 2015 vs. Q4 2014
AOP & Deloitte DPRI report
Digital advertising Format % Change*
Total 4.2%
Desktop Video 43.1%
Recruitment -2.2%
Sponsorship 19.9%
Display -2.3%
Classified 42.8%
Mobile -3.2%


UK Digital Publisher Advertising Growth
2015 (Year on year growth)
AOP & Deloitte DPRI Report, Q4 2015
  % Growth
Year Mobile** Video***
Q1 2015 80.0% 17.1%
Q2 2015 21.5% 15.1%
Q3 2015 21.9% 23.8%
Q4 2015 -3.2% 43.1%


About The Association of Online Publishers

The UK Association of Online Publishers (AOP) is an industry body representing digital publishing companies that create original, branded, quality content. AOP champions the interests of media owners from diverse backgrounds including newspaper and magazine publishing, TV and radio broadcasting, and pure online media.

For more information please visit

About Deloitte

In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country’s leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.