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AOP Digital Publishing Awards 2021 open for entries

The Association of Online Publishers (AOP) has today announced that its prestigious annual awards are open for entries. In collaboration with PubMatic, the Digital Publishing Awards will showcase industry-wide innovation, highlighting the individuals, teams, and initiatives that are driving success for the sector.

AOP Digital Publishing Awards 2021 open for entries

London, UK, 11th February 2021: The Association of Online Publishers (AOP) has today announced that its prestigious annual awards are open for entries. In collaboration with PubMatic, the Digital Publishing Awards will showcase industry-wide innovation, highlighting the individuals, teams, and initiatives that are driving success for the sector.


Now in their 19th year, the awards continue to recognise exceptional achievement by publishers, advertisers, agencies and suppliers, while raising the benchmark for best practice, creativity, and entrepreneurship across the digital media space. The deadline for entries closes on the 6 May 2021.


The 2021 ceremony will see outstanding digital publishing efforts celebrated across 26 categories, including the newly added ‘Best Publisher-led Social Good Initiative’.


The new category is in acknowledgement of the strong potential for digital publishing players to lead on addressing social, political and environmental issues. It champions initiatives that have engaged audiences and inspired positive change — encompassing efforts across B2B, specialist and broader consumer markets, as well as specific partnerships with not-for-profit organisations.


This year’s award also sees the ‘Best Podcast Strategy’ category expanded under the new title of ‘Best Audio Strategy’ to reflect the increasing diversity of online media listening.


Open to all members and non-members of the AOP, each category will be judged by a selection of pan-industry specialists, under the guidance of co-chairs, Robin Shute, Operations Director of Incisive Media, and Hayley Cochrane, Head of Digital for Mail Metro Media.

“Incisive Media has been fortunate to enjoy a number of successes at the AOP Awards and now it’s payback time. I value this opportunity to be B2B jury co-chair of the 2021 awards as we navigate our way through the Covid pandemic, and for the opportunity to work with our peers and of course support the AOP itself,” comments Robin Shute, “Richard and the AOP have really got to grips with the task of representing media businesses in crucial forums that decide the future of privacy and regulation. We highly value this ongoing and sometimes challenging work, and of course the opportunity to celebrate our sector’s many successes at the annual AOP awards.”


“This past year has brought about so much change and uncertainty, it has forced publishers to be agile and adapt fast to the impact of Covid-19, to look to the future and prepare for changing regulations whilst tackling issues around diversity and inclusion,” says Hayley Cochrane. “There has never been a more important time to recognise and celebrate outstanding talent, innovation and contributions made by individuals and teams in online publishing. I’m absolutely thrilled to be co-chair of this year’s AOP awards.”


“Despite the challenges of 2020, digital publishing has upheld its focus on enhancing standards and exploring new ways to engage with audiences on a more meaningful level. Leaders throughout the industry have proven their determination to meet growing consumer demand for media with purpose, and in response to this, we have introduced the new ‘Best Publisher-led Social Good Initiative’ to recognise their efforts,” said Richard Reeves, Managing Director at AOP. “The Digital Publishing Awards provide a platform for spotlighting achievement, and in light of the challenges presented by the pandemic it is especially important that in 2021 we celebrate the exceptional agility, adaptability and commitment to driving real change that we have seen over the last year.”


“PubMatic’s partnership with the AOP Digital Publishing Awards remains an immense source of pride, enabling us to contribute to an event that rewards and champions the best of industry innovation,” commented Emma Newman, EMEA, CRO at PubMatic. “Each ceremony brings a fresh array of creative and smart publishing initiatives, and we are confident 2021 will be no exception.”



The full list of categories is as follows:


AOP Individual Excellence Awards

  • Journalist of the Year
  • Editor of the Year
  • Local Hero Award, supported by Google News Initiative
  • Sales Person of the Year
  • Rising Star, supported by Lewis Silkin


AOP Team Excellence Awards

  • Editorial Team of the Year: B2B
  • Editorial Team of the Year: Consumer
  • Sales Team of the Year
  • Advertising Operations Team of the Year
  • Product Development Team of the Year
  • Audience Development Team of the Year, supported by UKOM

AOP Digital Publishing Excellence Awards

  • Best Use of Video, supported by Unruly
  • Best Use of Audio
  • Best Diversification of Commercial Strategy, supported by Deloitte
  • Best Creative Solutions Led / Content Marketing Campaign, supported by Unruly
  • Best Publisher-led Social Good Initiative or Campaign
  • Best Use of Data, supported by LiveRamp
  • Best Research / Insight Project
  • Best Digital Publishing Innovation, supported by Xandr
  • Best Media Technology Partner
  • The AOP Employer Excellence Award

The AOP Grand Prix

  • Best Online Brand: B2B
  • Best Online Brand: Consumer
  • Small Digital Publisher of the Year, supported by Google

Publishing companies who have demonstrated success across several categories in the AOP Awards will be invited to enter the final two categories, following the announcement of our finalists. There will be no entry fee for these two grand prix categories, but a written submission will be required.

  • Best Digital B2B Publishing Company 2021, supported by PubMatic
  • Best Digital Consumer Publishing Company 2021, supported by PubMatic


Entries should be made online and can be entered here:


For more information visit:


About the Association of Online Publishers

The Association of Online Publishers (AOP) is an industry body representing digital publishing companies that create original, branded, quality content. AOP champions the interests of media owners from diverse backgrounds including newspaper and magazine publishing, TV and radio broadcasting, and pure online media. For more information, please visit


AOP Press Contact

Chris Kader, GingerMay PR


Tel: +44 (0) 203 642 1124–open-for-entries