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Survey: Publishers to Focus on Digital Subscriptions, Advertising Solutions in 2024

United States

2023 was a year filled with several media industry buzzwords: artificial intelligence, made-for-advertising websites and sustainability to name a few. But what topics were publishers really focused on this year and what do they expect their businesses to look like in 2024?

As the year ends, we surveyed AAM publisher clients to learn more about their experiences in 2023 and what they hope to accomplish in the year ahead. Thirty-five AAM-audited publishers responded. Here’s what they had to say.


The Positives

60% of respondents saw an increase in digital subscriptions.

When asked about positive trends this year, 60% said they saw an increase in digital subscriptions and 31% developed new products to offer advertising clients. The same percentage also more creatively attracted new readers.

Cost-savings initiatives were also referenced, with 26% implementing such a program in 2023.


Artificial Intelligence

While AI was one of the most talked about trends in media this year, AAM publishers were mixed on its implementation. Responses from publishers about whether they have integrated AI tools into their business processes were split evenly between yes, not yet, no and not sure.


Anticipated Growth and Areas of Focus

74% of respondents say digital subscriptions will be an area of focus in 2024.

Nearly three-quarters of publishers said they are optimistic about growing digital subscriptions next year. 34% said they expect advertising to grow revenue in 2024, while 29% expect more revenue from sponsored content.

Similarly, 74% of publishers responded that digital subscriptions will be an area of focus next year, and 35% said they will allocate resources to developing advertising solutions.



In Their Own Words

When asked to share one word to describe their businesses in 2023, publishers responded with everything from transforming and stable to challenging and chaotic. But the most common word that summed up the year for publishers: growing.

We also asked publishers to share their professional goals for 2024. Here’s a sample of what they said:

Publishers share their professional goals for 2024.


How AAM Can Help

47% of respondents would like AAM to share more publisher success stories.

When asked how AAM can help publishers, 47% said they would like AAM to share more successful programs implemented by other publishers, while 35% said they would like to know more about how buyers use their data.

AAM’s Media Mavens interview series features insights from AAM clients around the industry about their careers, companies and innovative programs they have helped implement.

As digital advertising grows, AAM is focused on helping quality publishers stand out and earn recognition for their commitment to transparency through partnerships with organizations such as the Journalism Trust Initiative, JournalList and Ad Fontes Media. We look forward to working with our publisher and buyer clients in 2024 on even more new solutions.

To learn more about how AAM helps publishers earn greater recognition in the digital ecosystem, contact us.



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