Digiday+ Research: Publishers show optimism for their own companies in 2024 — but not the media industry
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Surprisingly, publishers don’t feel like their companies fared that badly in 2023. And they think their companies’ prospects for 2024 are bright. Also surprisingly, though, they feel differently about the media industry as a whole.
This is according to a Digiday+ Research survey of 54 publisher professionals conducted late in the fourth quarter of 2023.
Digiday’s survey found that, despite all of 2023’s challenges, publishers are feeling good about their own companies. Nearly half of publisher pros (48%) said they agreed that their companies had a successful year last year — although not overly so. Just 15% said they strongly agreed last year was a successful one for their companies, while one-third (33%) said they only somewhat agreed.
Notably, 28% of publisher pros told Digiday that they somewhat disagreed that their companies had a successful year last year. And 19% said they didn’t agree or disagree that their companies were successful in 2023. These percentages not only represent significant groups of respondents to Digiday’s survey, but they also reflect the reality of the tough year that was 2023.
Looking ahead though, it seems as if publishers don’t expect to encounter such significant challenges in 2024. Nearly two-thirds of publisher pros (63%) said they agree that they’re optimistic about their companies prospects this year. In comparison, less than a quarter (24%) disagreed.
This optimism isn’t exactly unbridled, though. More than half of publisher respondents to Digiday’s survey (56%) said they agreed only somewhat that they’re optimistic about their companies’ prospects for the year. Just 7% agreed strongly that they’re optimistic about their companies this year.
Very interestingly, Digiday’s survey found that publishers don’t share their optimism at all when looking at the media industry as a whole. Just 9% of publisher pros told Digiday they agreed that the media industry had a successful year last year. On the flip side, more than two-thirds of publishers (68%) said they disagreed that the media industry was successful in 2023. It’s also worth noting here that more than a third (35%) were neutral about the success of the media industry last year.
And publisher pros who said the media industry did not have a successful year in 2023 were almost evenly split in terms of the degree to which they said this. One-third of publisher pros said they somewhat disagreed the industry was successful last year. An even larger share — 35% — said they strongly disagreed the media industry had a successful 2023.
Digiday’s survey found there is more optimism for the media industry around 2024, but, honestly, not by much. In fact, the largest share of respondents to Digiday’s survey said they’re actually just neutral about whether the industry will have a successful year.
Thirty-five percent of publisher pros told Digiday that they neither agreed nor disagreed that they’re optimistic about the media industry’s prospects for 2024. Coming in just behind, 33% of publisher pros said they somewhat disagreed that they’re optimistic for the industry as a whole this year. Eleven percent said they disagreed strongly.
Just 20% of respondents to Digiday’s survey agreed that they’re optimistic about the media industry’s prospects this year, with 13% saying they agreed just somewhat. Only 7% of publisher pros said they strongly agreed they’re optimistic for the industry this year.
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