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AOP unveils publishers’ investment plans for data, mobile and video in 2014


By Jessica Davies | News Editor

April 28, 2014 | 3 min read

Data, mobile and video have been pinpointed as the biggest areas for investment in the coming year by the majority of online publishers, according to the Association of Online Publishers (AOP)’s latest annual Census.

The report, which surveyed 700 brands, revealed that the majority (89 per cent) plan to increase their data technology investments in the next 12 months, as they look to find ways to monetise their data strategies.

This will also see 58 per cent of the 32 publishing houses surveyed, scale their data analytics teams – up 30 per cent from 2013.

What are the business priorities for 2014? (source: AOP)

Mobile investment was a major priority for publishers in 2013, according to the Census, with 71 per cent citing a “major increase” in mobile audiences. Although the AOP would not reveal specific figures to The Drum, tablet apps have been pinpointed as the main source of paid revenue for over half of publishers this year, with 79 per cent of respondents pledging investment in mobile and app development in the coming year.

Digital audience change in last 12 months (source: AOP)

Meanwhile 70 per cent of respondents said they plan to use more private ad exchanges in 2014, with 61 per cent planning to increase their use of real-time bidding (RTB) during the same period. Tim Cain, AOP managing director said the surge in mobile audiences is a reflection of how consumers are turning to mobile as their primary screen. “A Millward Brown report recently found that consumers now spend more time on their mobile per day than watching TV. As such publishers are moving quickly to ensure their sites are mobile optimised and can deliver mobile read content seamlessly, hence the reason it is now the second highest priority for online publishers after data monetisation as the census shows.

Where will technology partnerships increase? (source: AOP)

“The fact 89 per cent of publishers plan to grow their investment in data technology is due to the fact that many will be increasingly working with data management platforms (DMPs) to bring data into more manageable formats. This will allow them to identify where data’s true value lies and to create targeted audience segments. Publishers are also likely to increase investment in supply side platforms (SSPs) to maximse the value of their data for programmatic trading and the development of private marketplaces.”The trend towards further investment in data will influence the kind of partnerships publishers will be looking to drive in the coming months, with 57 per cent of those surveyed expecting to develop technology partnerships in data management this year – outstripping anticipated partnerships in mobile or tablet apps.

Investment in technology (source: AOP)

Video was also highlighted as an investment priority with 64 per cent of respondents citing this an investment priority for 2014.
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