LONDON, 20 JANUARY 2010 - The Association of Online Publishers (AOP) and PPA are pleased to announce that AOP – previously a subsidiary of PPA - has formally become an independent membership organisation effective as of 1st January 2010.

The AOP was originally formed in 2002, as part of the PPA the leading magazine trade body, in response to the growth of the internet as a publishing medium. The move follows AOP’s need to develop initiatives specifically tailored to its members, which includes TV and radio broadcasters, newspapers and pure play digital organisations.

Lee Baker, Director of AOP comments, “The scale of demand on the AOP has increased as digital has grown to be a significant factor for businesses and consumers alike. We recognise our responsibility to continually review the needs and requirements of our members, and the changing nature of our relationship with the PPA. We will continue to add value as a trade body championing the interests of publishers that create original, branded and quality online content. This announcement purely formalises and acknowledges the way the two industries are evolving.”

Eric Verdon-Roe, Consultant to the PPA adds: "Trade associations need to work more closely together, especially at times of change such as we are experiencing at present. While the PPA serves the interests of publishers working across multiple platforms, AOP concentrates on the online activities and I believe that the loosening of our ties with AOP allows both organisations to work very closely together when we choose to, but also to dedicate our activities to the specialised needs of our members. I hope that this relationship will be the model for closer co-operative ventures between PPA and other organisations that share similar interests with us. I wish AOP great success and look forward to working closely with them".

While AOP and PPA will continue to operate from the same offices and collaborate on issues of mutual concern such as regulation of online content, advertising and data privacy, independence provides AOP with the freedom to pursue interests and issues that are of particular concern to its members.

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Further information:
Lee Baker, Director of AOP – 020 7400 7568 / lee.baker@ukaop.org.uk
Eric Verdon-Roe, Consultant to the PPA – 020 7404 4166
Lorette Nettar, PR AOP – 07968 521 684 / lorette.nettar@ukaop.org.uk

2/ AOP gains independence

Notes to editors
About PPA
PPA is one of the UK’s largest and most effective trade associations, and is one of the leading magazine trade bodies worldwide. Its job is to promote the interests of the UK magazine and business media industry in every way possible. The PPA is at the heart of a network of national and international alliances across the creative industries, protecting members from damaging restrictions on press freedom and on the freedom to advertise; safeguarding members’ intellectual property; fighting for a cost-effective postal distribution system; defending members against unnecessary regulation, and promoting the editorial and financial health of the industry. The association has a strong interest in training and development, and (as well as providing its own training and qualifications) accredit twelve university courses in the UK. The PPA is part of the European and Worldwide magazine organisations, and part of the funding bodies for the Press Complaints Commission and the Advertising Standards Authority. It is also one of the organisers which issue press cards to journalists.

PPA has nearly 300 publishing company members, who together publish more than 3,000 consumer, business and customer magazines. Nearly all magazine brands publish online; many of them use audio and video content on their websites. Blogs, Twitter, webinars and virtual fairs are all part of the magazine world. Publication to smart phones is beginning; digital paper and e-inks are being developed. PPA member companies also produce a range of directories, and organise conferences, exhibitions and awards. A number of the larger companies also have TV and radio brands linked to their publishing interests. Magazine brands are now multimedia, cross-platform brands, investing in and living the digital revolution.

About AOP
The UK Association of Online Publishers (AOP) is the industry body representing online publishing companies that create original, branded, quality content. AOP champions the interests of companies from newspaper and magazine publishing, TV and radio broadcasting, and pure online media. The AOP raises awareness, lobbies and addresses concerns relating to all areas of online publishing to industry and Government; covering topics such as paid-for-content, online subscription models, data protection, copyright, content management, new technologies and audience measurement. AOP publishes original research including the annual Census now in its seventh year. It also hosts forums, conferences and events, where members can debate issues, meet peers and network.

The AOP hosts two annual flagship industry events, the AOP Digital Publishing Awards which will be held on 10 June 2010, and the AOP Digital Publishing Summit will be held in October 2010. The AOP is holding an inaugural event, “Driving the online video market” on 27 January details here http://www.ukaop.org.uk/events/drivingonlinevideoevent.obyx

AOP Members include AN Digital, Bauer Consumer Media, BBC, BBC Worldwide, BSkyB, CBS Interactive, Channel 4 New Media, Condé Nast Digital, Economist Group, Financial Times, Future Publishing, Global Radio, Guardian Media Group, Haymarket Media Group, Incisive Media, Independent New Ventures, IPC Media, ITV, The National Magazine Company, News International Ltd, PPA, Reed Business Information, Telegraph Media Group Ltd, Thomson Reuters, Trader Media, Trinity Mirror, TSL Education, Which? www.ukaop.org.uk

Published on: 4:13PM on 20th January 2010