Digiday Research: 80% of publishers lower Q2 forecasts

coronavirus ad downturn

This research is based on unique data collected from our proprietary audience of publisher, agency, brand and tech insiders. It’s available to Digiday+ members. More from the series →

In February, publishers braced themselves for a tough quarter ahead. Now, reality is beginning to emerge.

A Digiday Research survey of 127 publishers found that 52% of publishers missed their first-quarter numbers. About 23% managed to exceed their forecasts, while 25% hit them.

Publishers are bracing for a worse second-quarter: 80% have lowered forecasts.

Back in March, Digiday Research found that 88% of the publishing executives surveyed expected to miss business goals for the entire year. About 85% of them expected to see a decline in ad revenue, 79% in event revenue and 68% in commerce revenue.

It’s been an especially tough time for news publishers: 59% of them said they missed their forecasts in the first quarter, and 19% of them exceeded it.

As for the second quarter, only 1% have raised their forecast, while a whopping 70% have lowered it.


Advertisers continue to be reluctant to spend any money on ads alongside coronavirus content. A prior Digiday survey found that 40% of brands are not advertising next to coronavirus-related news online, up slightly from the same survey conducted a month ago, when 37% said they will not buy ads alongside coronavirus-related content.

https://digiday.com/?p=367186

More in Media

Digiday+ Research: Publishers take their focus off events as revenue dips

The percentage of publishers making money from events hit a low as of the first quarter of this year and, as a result, fewer publishers plan on putting a focus on growing that part of their business.

What platforms, brands and agencies hope to get out of the Possible conference in year 2

Year two of Possible is once again being held in Miami Beach, and it will take place from April 15-17 with 3,000 attendees expected to listen to another 200 or so speakers, including Snap’s Colleen DeCourcy, Uber Ads’ Megan Ramm and UM Worldwide’s Matthew Smith.

AI Briefing: Cloud giants’ AI ambitions create new partnerships — and new competitive concerns

Last week, tech companies like Google, Microsoft and Amazon all announced updates more updates for their cloud and AI efforts