Publishers say smartphone, tablet traffic up last year, worry about ad blocking

Some 60% of publishers in the United Kingdom are expecting the number of programmatic partnerships to rise in 2016, according to a new survey, that also shows 80% of respondents believe monetization of data to be an important part of their business.

The Association for Online Publishing’s (AOP), in its eighth Organization Census, found that search (36%) and direct traffic (31%) were the primary traffic sources for them in 2015.

The study also found that 60% of publishers responding had seen a “major increase” in the size of their smartphone audience in the past 12 months.

The number of tablet users in their audience, too, has grown, with even more publishers – 70% – saying that they’d seen the tablet audience grow in the past year.  

Not one respondent said mobile has become a smaller part of their business in the past year.

Technology partnerships are increasingly shaping the U.K. publishing industry: Half of publishers confirmed that data management (50%) is a prominent area of development, followed by social media (45%), and video desktop (45%).

The study revealed that digital revenues now account for almost half (48%) of the total U.K. business revenue. Around two-thirds (68%) of digital revenue is expected to arise from desktop.

Publishers said the greatest hurdles facing the industry moving forward include ad blocking, diversification of business into new areas, innovation on creative solutions for advertisers, and adoption of and understanding programmatic trading.

“Activation and monetization of data is shown to be a key focus for publishers, who are embracing technology as well as recruiting a greater number of specialists in automated trading, data analysis, and creative partnerships with advertisers,” said Richard Reeves, managing director at the AOP.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Editor of Videomind and Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn