LONDON: Data monetisation will be the key issue facing the online publishers in the UK over the next 12 months, according to a new survey.

The Association of Online Publishers (AOP), the industry body representing the UK's digital publishing bodies, surveyed 700 brands for its annual look at the UK's online publishing landscape and found that 89% planned to grow their investment in data technology in 2014.

Investment was not being restricted to technology as over half (58%) also expected to hire data analytics personnel during the year, up from just 30% in 2013.

Further, partnerships were likely to be affected, with 57% of those surveyed anticipating the development of technology partnerships in data management, which was more than those who are looking for partnerships in mobile or tablet apps.

"Data has been talked about in terms of its importance for a long time but we are now seeing real focus dedicated to driving the collection, analysis and interpretation as it permeates every aspect of the digital business from content creation, to marketing and revenue generation," said Tim Cain, Managing Director of AOP.

"We can expect to see growing sophistication in its usage going forward," he added.

The onward march of programmatic was also evident in the survey's findings. Fully 70% of digital publishers indicated they would use more private ad exchanges in 2014, while 61% said they would increase their use of real-time bidding.

Video too was forecast to boom in 2014, with almost two thirds (64%) of UK publishers confirming they were increasing investment here as they looked for new ways to engage with their audience.

In line with the AOP's 2013 survey, mobile grew significantly: 71% of publishers reported a 'major increase' in mobile audiences; the equivalent figure for tablets was 60%. The latter were, however, predicted to be the main source of paid revenues for over half of publishers this year.

Data sourced from AOP; additional content by Warc staff