Business-to-business magazine ad pages declined 7.2% in the first quarter of 2011 to 141,777 in the first quarter of 2012, according to the Business Information Network Report released by American Business Media. Total ad revenues for the publications tracked by ABM’s BIN declined 3.5% to $1.8 billion over the same period.
B2B categories that saw significant declines in the first quarter of the year included automotive, down 8.9% to 6,971 ad pages; computers, software and telecom, down 22.2% to 2,319 pages; healthcare, down 12.3% to 33,636; pharmaceuticals, down 16% to 2,149; and professional services, down 11.7% to 9,621.
Most categories showed ad page declines, with just four out of 22 categories tracked by ABM showing any increases (mostly very modest, with three of the four gaining less than 1%). In terms of ad revenue, 15 out of 22 categories recorded ad revenue declines.
On the bright side, ABM also reported that B2B event revenue increased 1.5% to nearly $3 billion in the first quarter of 2012, according to data from the Center for Exhibition Industry Research. That builds on a 4.9% increase in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010 -- signs of a recovery following steep drops during the economic downturn from 2008-2010.
The B2B figures are comparable to trade pubs’ print cousins in the consumer magazine industry.
According to the Publishers Information Bureau, total ad pages at consumer titles slipped 8.2% to 32,862 in the first quarter of 2012, while rate card revenues slid 4.2% to $4.1 billion over the same period.