The Association of Online Publishers (AOP) Ireland says that its members intend to invest in excess of €2m this year in developing their digital properties. The AOP represents websites like IrishTimes.com, TV3.ie, Entertainment.ie, Independent.ie, RTE.ie and TheJournal.ie
Already this year, the Irish digital media market has seen the launches of new sites for IrishTimes.com, Independent.ie and Entertainment.ie and there has been a substantial growth in terms of online traffic across the association’s member sites according to AOP Ireland.
According to Julian Douglas, chairman of AOP Ireland and managing director of Entertainment.ie its members are continuing to invest to ensure their premium quality local content is accessible on the ever widening variety of mobile platforms. “All members are offering new content and site upgrades that facilitate new video formats in order to keep pace with very demanding consumer expectations and behaviour. This reflects strengthening digital consumption trends in Ireland such as the growth in mobile usage in Ireland, where there is now 2,387,125 active smartphone and tablet users, and the increase in Internet usage with an average Irish person spending 2.6 hours online per day,” he says.
“2013 is a landmark year for the Irish premium quality digital publishing industry with leading companies investing significantly in their digital products and continuing to lead the way as the ‘go to’ sites that virtually all Irish Internet users visit on a daily basis. Change is constant and we must lead the way in providing our audience with the best user experience and our advertisers with the best possible commercial results. This ongoing commitment to investment in the digital arena ensures that Irish premium content sites will remain the most popular, relevant and engaging online destinations for Irish Internet users, whilst also delivering excellent local insights and local news stories to our diaspora, living abroad,” says Douglas.
“The environment and context where ads appear, the audience demographics and the ability for brands to make an impact are the key ingredients of either ‘brand building’ or ‘call to action’ advertising campaigns. We would not be investing this money in our products if we did not believe that our digital portfolio outperforms our rivals in all of these areas for both the audience and advertiser. As an online publishing organisation we also plan to continue to address a number of issues such as the value of advertising with Irish premium content sites. Research shows that not only do consumers value our content more, but they are also more likely to engage with advertising on AOP Ireland member sites, which is vital for brands that are looking for a return on their investment,” he adds.
According to Douglas AOP Ireland will publish new research in the near future which addresses how Irish internet users perceive advertising that appears on international ad networks versus adverts appearing on Irish premium content sites. He adds that it will ask questions about the effectiveness of the fragmented approach that is currently employed within the industry and how it compares to targeted campaigns on premium content Irish websites in trusted and relevant environments.