Industry News

PPA Sector Insight Report Highlights Economic and Cultural Value to UK

By PPA Staff

14 May 2021

The PPA has published a new report, for the first time capturing in one place the scale, impact and reach of the consumer magazine and business media sector.

It has been produced in partnership with Vendigital, supported by Publishers Licensing Services.

The report confirms the huge contribution the sector makes to UK PLC, with £3.74bn of Gross Value Added (GVA) in 2019, directly supporting 55,000 jobs.

As part of the thriving UK creative industries, this represents 35% of UK Publishing and contributes an estimated £518.9m of net inflow to UK PLC through exports to the world (in 2019 there were 73 million magazines sold in export markets).

The sector represents a diverse group of media brands, serving communities of interest with one important thing in common, the creation and curation of specialist content to attract, engage and inform audiences. Quality, trusted journalism is the driving force behind these brands.

The report confirms the truly multi-platform nature of the sector:

  • Most PPA members are multi-platform operators (96%), with 75% present across five or more platforms
  • Despite the growth in digital in recent years, print still has a significant presence, with an estimated 700 million consumer products and over 50 million B2B products being distributed in 2019, equivalent to 1,400 every minute.
  • Those products are distributed and sold through approximately 45,000 retailers across the UK, supporting an estimated 6,400 jobs in that supply chain

Across platforms, each month magazine media reaches an estimated 44.3 million consumers in the UK, accounting for 83% of the population aged over 15.

In serving trusted content to communities of interest, publishers are also providing an opportunity for advertisers to connect directly with that audience in a deep and engaging way.

  • In 2019, 1,493 advertisers spent over half of their media budget within the sector, which was an exclusive channel for 916 advertisers

While Covid has presented significant challenges, particularly damaging to live events, data suggests that the sector as a whole has been resilient with the net impact of 10% revenue loss and optimism of a recovery through 2021. Drops in advertising and newsstand revenue have been mitigated to some degree by increases in subscriptions, other direct consumer revenue and alternative commercial channels (sponsorships, marketing services, etc.).

This reflects a general, strategic shift towards more audience-derived and more engagement-driven revenues. Underpinning this are trends around content, technological advancements, engagement, commercial models, and systems, all of which are enabling publishers to nurture much longer-term relationships with customers to drive lifetime value.

PPA CEO, Owen Meredith, commented:

“This new PPA insight report captures the true scale, impact and reach of the sector and confirms the significant contribution of consumer magazine and business media to the UK, both economically and culturally.

“At the heart of the industry are brands who have a deep engagement with their audiences, speaking to consumers passions, hobbies and interests, as well as supporting individuals and businesses to do their jobs better. We have seen throughout the pandemic how audiences have valued this trusted relationship, with growing reach and truly multi-platform engagement reaching more people than ever.

“The report explores how these specialist media brands attract, engage and inform audiences of all ages, with trusted journalism and attention-grabbing environments at the heart of the offer.”

Access the Executive Summary here.

PPA Members can watch an on demand presentation of the results via PPA Live! or request the full report from


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