Digiday Research: 88% of publishers say they will miss forecasts this year
In a new survey examining business confidence, Digiday Research found that 88% of publishing executives surveyed expect to miss their business goals this year due to the outbreak.
Ninety-five executive-level publishers were surveyed this week in a snap poll to understand the effects of the outbreak on their business. Of them, 85% said also that they expect to see a decline in ad revenue due to the pandemic.
That problem is an exceptionally difficult one. Coronavirus dominates news coverage, and with levels of worry skyrocketing, plus a lot more people working from home, means more people are consuming news. But publishers have found it difficult to monetize this coverage with advertising: Many big brands are staying away from spending adjacent to coronavirus coverage, and throwing associated keywords into their block lists.
Despite the pivot to paid, direct-sold and programmatic advertising is in the top most important ways publishers make money.
About 79% of publishers surveyed said they also expect, unsurprisingly, to see a decline in event revenue due to the outbreak. Events have been a particularly important source of revenue for publishers across B-to-B and consumer media. With large gatherings effectively banned, this important source of revenue is essentially decimated.
Right now, only 38% of publishers say they expect to lay off staff due to the outbreak.
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