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The census also found that 48 per cent of publishers plan to recruit for mobile development roles

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Two thirds of UK online publishers are planning to increase the number of digital roles "on the back of product growth expectations", the Association of Online Publishers reported today, compared to 55 per cent which saw growth in 2011.

According to the AOP's annual census the 2011 figure had "represented the biggest number of publishers increasing staffing levels since 2008", suggesting a positive outlook for 2012 with 66 per cent of respondents saying they expect "digital staffing" to grow this year.

Just over half of the publishers taking part in the census were said to be planning on recruiting staff to work on apps and almost half (48 per cent) on mobile, which the report finds to be "a significant increase on 2011 where the corresponding numbers were 41 per cent and 31 respectively".

App and mobile development are also the key skills for investment this year, publishers said, with the report claiming that "both have seen substantial growth as key skills for media businesses in 2012" and are "now recognised as such by more than 60 per cent of publishers who are committed to investment, compared to 31 per cent and 27 per cent respectively in these areas back in 2011".

When it comes to revenue streams, 68 per cent of publishers indicated that "they are likely to introduce more paid-for elements to their portfolios this year", just up on the 63 per cent who suggested the same in 2011.

"Those who aren’t very likely to introduce more paid-for elements have shrunk year-on-year from 25 per cent to 14 per cent of publishers. Of those left, there is no commitment to either introduce more paid-for elements or rule them out."
"This year’s organisation census presents a bullish view of growth by digital publishers in 2012, the opportunity strengthened by the growing adoption of mobile platforms led by tablets," head of research and insight at AOP Tim Cain said in a release.

"Innovation in technology is a key theme and the view expressed on collaboration by publishers to allow them to move more swiftly and efficiently and ultimately more competitively is a concept that will attract attention. On a staffing and development front, an increasing focus on data is driving publishers to develop new skillsets."

The census is based on the responses of 37 members of the AOP.

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