Revenue up for news publishers despite traffic falling for many, new Reuters Institute report reveals

News publishers have reported their revenue has increased in 2021, according to the latest report from the Reuters Institute.

The report–Journalism, Media, and Technology Trends and Predictions 2022–authored by Senior Research Associate Nic Newman, is based on an annual survey of 246 CEOs, editors and digital leaders from 52 countries.

The increase in revenue for 59% of those surveyed came as 54% also reported static or falling page views.

Other key findings include:

  • 79% of the news executives surveyed say reader revenue will be their key priority, ahead of both display (73%) and native advertising (59%). But 47% worry that subscriptions are pushing journalism towards richer audiences.
  • Publishers say they will pay less attention to Facebook (-8 net score) and Twitter (-5) this year and will instead put more effort into Instagram (+54), TikTok (+44), and YouTube (+43) in order to reach younger audiences.
  • Many publishers will be putting more resources this year into podcasts (80%) and newsletters (70%). They also say AI will be key for personalisation (85%), newsroom automation (81%) and business purposes (69%).

Nic Newman said: “Covid has built confidence in the value of journalism and has focused minds on new digital revenue streams like subscriptions, but a key challenge for the news media this year is to re-engage those who have turned away from news – as well as to build deeper relationships with more regular news consumers”

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism is dedicated to exploring the future of journalism worldwide.

This piece of research was supported by Google as part of its Global News Initiative.