US publishers are hoping that a significant rise in their digital ad revenues will counterbalance a decline in earnings through print.

According to a recent survey of 380 US publishing executives, a resounding 89% of firms believe they will see an increase in their digital revenues over the next year.

Digital ads to gain headway

Their reasons for believing as much could not be clearer, as 62% of the publishers claimed that ad sales would play a key role in driving business for their digital properties – the top ranking reason for digital growth.

Meanwhile, the option of “showing advertisers we understand our readers and can target them effectively” was named as the biggest key to expansion ahead of personalisation for content (26%) and converting readers to paid subscribers (22%).  

A decline for print

While publishers with a strong digital presence seem to be looking toward the future with a degree of optimism, those relying too heavily on print look set to be left behind.

The same survey, conducted by web analytics provider Cxense in partnership with Editor and Publisher magazine, indicated that 34% are viewing print as their least prominent platform for accessing content.   

At the other end of the scale, a total of 40% are viewing smartphones as their least prominent platform in the same category.

This runs in tandem with figures for the publishers’ own reading habits, which show that 47% currently have a paid digital subscription to a newspaper and only 15% would not consider buying one.