The Week Kick-off: Business, Politics, and Automobiles

Digital publishing takes centre stage in this week’s Kick-off, which comes to you a day later than usual following a bank holiday in the UK. We have positive news from Forbes, Axel Springer, and Autovia, and as if that wasn’t enough, the latest Association of Online Publishers (AOP) and Deloitte study shows that UK digital publishing revenues were up 32%, and subscriptions up 49%, in Q1 of 2021. Time again to take a panoramic view over the world of media… 

Business brand Forbes dreams of stockmarket success

Business media brand Forbes has announced a combination agreement with Magnum Opus Acquisition Limited (NYSE: OPA), which will see the publisher become a publicly listed entity. The combined company has secured an additional US$400 million of funding via private investment and upon closing the transaction, will retain the Forbes name and be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol ‘FRBS’. Full story here

While Axel Springer makes Politico manoeuvres 

Meanwhile in other big digital publishing news, Axel Springer announced last week that it is to acquire Politico, including the remaining 50% of its current venture Politico Europe, in a continuation of its strategic expansion into the US media market. It has also signed an agreement to acquire Politico sibling publication and tech news website Protocol from Robert Allbritton.

Mathias Döpfner, CEO Axel Springer, commented: “Politico’s outstanding team has disrupted digital political journalism and set new standards. A true North Star. It will be a privilege and a special responsibility to help shape the future of this outstanding media company. Objective quality journalism is more important than ever, and we mutually believe in the necessity of editorial independence and nonpartisan reporting. This is crucial for our future success and accelerated growth.” You can read the story in full here

Autovia drives first-party data innovation

We’re also starting to see the shift towards post-cookie solutions taking place more rapidly now, as automotive content and e-commerce brand Autovia announced last week that it has launched a new first-party data solution. Partnering with customer data platform BlueConic, the new strategy will see the brand build and unify its first-party data, using this intelligence to connect consenting audiences with car makers, dealers and other automotive service providers.

In a press release, the company said that the strategy was ‘win-win’ in terms of improving both the reader/viewer experience and the quality of leads being provided to Autovia’s commercial partners. Full story here

UK digital publishing revenues up to £125m 

And there was also good sectoral news in the latest AOP-Deloitte Digital Publishers’ Revenue Index (DPRI) last week, which showed that digital publishing revenues in the UK increased to £152m in Q1 2021, up by 31.9% in comparison to Q1 2020. Display advertising held its place as the largest category by revenue for digital publishers, with income reaching £53.6 million – an increase of 4.7% against Q1 2020. Revenue from subscriptions also contributed positively, growing by 48.8% compared to Q1 2020. Full story here

Main Image: Shutterstock/Andriy Blokhin


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