As viewing moves online, broadcasters’ on-demand players make up a growing proportion of viewing, becoming central to their future strategies.

However, even though SVOD viewing might have begun to plateau, BVOD growth cannot yet balance the decline of linear broadcast.

Of this shrinking pie, 2023 saw most of the major broadcast players increase their viewing shares.

UK consumers bought £123 billionof goods online in 2023, up 63% on 2019 (vs 7% for offline). Online sales of non-store retailers, such as Amazon (and Temu, Shein, Next), reached £60 billion in 2023, of which Amazon—a nascent online advertiser in the UK—accounts for about £43 billion.

The pandemic’s structural boost to the online channels of store retailers—which operate on the open internet, outside online walled gardens—lifted sales to £63 billion in 2023, up a huge 78% on 2019. With more competition for spend in straitened times, they are using advertising more aggressively.

The open internet is also the domain for online-transacted services: the return to in-person experiences drove the biggest ecommerce gains since 2022, as consumers purchased services online worth an estimated £291 billion in 2023 and rising.

Meta's China risk is overstated: the spend from Chinese advertisers is diverse and resilient to everything short of a full-blown trade war. 

Apple (and Tesla) are in the more precarious position of selling directly in-market, and face sharpening domestic competition.

Amazon's exit from selling in China still leaves it exposed: its marketplace strategy is built on Chinese sellers, whose potential routes to market are proliferating with local platforms going global.  

The UK’s ‘zombie’ economy—largely flat since March 2022—is due to the cost-of-living crisis weighing on households, with this exacerbated in 2023 by the rising cost of credit. Real private expenditure growth will be weakly positive in 2024 before strengthening in 2025 as headwinds recede

Our 2023 forecast of a nominal rise but real decline in display advertising was realised, with TV’s revenues falling while digital display rose. Advertiser spend online is justified by the channel’s size and growth, worth an estimated £406 billion in 2023

For 2024, much lower inflation and mildly positive real private expenditure growth points to 3-4% display advertising growth, with a stronger recovery anticipated in 2025

Google and Meta both grew ad revenues at double digit percentages, with European results running well ahead of North America. The majority of UK publishers selling digital web advertising, by contrast, are seeing nothing like these results

Platforms are moving advertisers over to powerful, results-oriented campaign tools, which few competitors can match

The nature of the relationship between platforms and news publishers is changing, with Google and Meta wanting to avoid risk in their core businesses. AI could transform the relationship still further

The US and UK have highly dissimilar approaches to regulating political advertising during elections, with far less spent in the UK (46p per registered voter compared to $51 in the US per year), although spending on online political advertising is rising fast in both.

The UK caps electoral spending and bans political advertising on broadcast channels, newspapers are partisan and regulation of online is very light touch.

With the UK’s next general election on the horizon, it’s vital to level the playing field between the broadcast and online channels, to prevent false and misleading statements by parties, candidates or their supporters from swaying voter intentions, to the detriment of the quality of democracy in the UK.

Women's football coverage increased in quality during the FIFA Women's World Cup, with greater presence in sports sections and main news sections, despite a mild decline in the overall quantity of women's sport coverage

Press advertising opportunities are beginning to be capitalised on by sponsors and brands, particularly in print, with online lagging. This will need to be addressed to harness ongoing online growth

Editorial continues to play a significant role in the promotion of women's sport. Coverage levels are inevitably skewed upward by success, but also by slower turnover online, doing women's sport a disservice and hampering growth

Despite its scale, YouTube can get overlooked. But its tremendous reach and impact across all demographics make it the internet's universal service provider. 

YouTube is still the golden child for creators who want to make a living from their content. For YouTube, this broad base of suppliers ensures a position of strength from which to claim a large revenue share. 

Competition from TikTok took some of the shine off YouTube's usage, and forced it promote lower-monetising Shorts. YouTube is pushing heavily into subscriptions, TV sets, and premium content via sports rights to boost the money it makes per minute spent. 

ITV’s external revenues saw only a small decline in H1 (-2%), a product of the Studios business’ solid growth (+8%, £1.0 billion) offsetting a very tough period for television advertising, which saw an 11% YoY decline.

Despite the appearance of a contracting market, ITV remains very confident in the continued organic growth of Studios, while the ad market looks to be improving although the full year will be down.

ITVX is growing both in total viewing and the length of viewing session, an outcome of improving the experience and content offering. However, broadcast viewing of ITVX exclusives is lower than might be expected, indicating that cannibalised linear viewing is more of a driver of ITVX growth than ITV seems to suggest.

Unprecedented growth in women’s sport is generating opportunities for publishers and advertisers. This year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup provides a chance to capitalise on the elevated coverage and interest

Women’s sport coverage must forge its own identity in the long term. News publishers play an enormous role by nourishing interest and discourse, creating brand opportunities and raising the profile of women’s sport

Articles currently must clear a higher bar for inclusion, though this will shift in the near term as coverage continues growing: variations in the type, style, and quantity of coverage highlight the progress made so far and identify areas of ongoing improvement