The downturn in print
media has not spared business-to-business publications, which saw total ad pages fall 8.27% from 317,108 in the first half of 2011 to 290,879 in the first half of 2012, according to American Business
Media’s Business Information Network. Total advertising revenues fell 4.16% to $3.74 billion over the same period, also according to BIN data.
On the positive side, other B2B revenue sources are still growing, with digital advertising up 14% in the first half of 2012, to $1.94 billion, and revenue from trade shows up 4.4% to $5.71 billion. Revenue from data and business information also increased 7.4%, to $1.09 billion. As a result, total B2B revenues increased 3.3% to $12.5 billion.
In terms of categories, the biggest drop in print advertising by far was seen in health-care advertising, where total ad pages tumbled 16.4% from 80,740 to 67,491, a drop of 13,249 pages. Sizeable drops were also seen in automotive, down 8.5% to 14,557 pages; computing, software, and telecom, down 20.5% to 4,830 pages; and professional services, down 9.9% to 20,263 pages.
Out of 22 categories tracked by BIN, only two -- agriculture and
architecture, design, and lighting -- saw ad pages increase in the first half of the year.
While it’s not much consolation, B2B publications are not alone in their woes, as the latest figures mirror the declining fortunes of the consumer magazine business.
According to the Publishers Information Bureau, total ad pages at consumer mags declined 8.8% from 81,658 in the first half of 2011 to 74,476 in the first half of 2012. Total ad revenues (based on official rate cards) slipped 3.8% from $10.44 billion to $10.05 billion.