Overall, business-to-business media revenues are growing due to an upward trend in B2B trade shows which, together with digital advertising, more than offset the continuing decline in print advertising.
The American Business Media’s Business Information Network reported that total revenues grew 3.4% from $24.6 billion in 2011 to $25.5 billion. Revenue from trade shows increased 4.4% from $11.2 billion to $11.7 billion, while print revenues fell 4.8% from $7.8 billion to $7.5 billion.
The print result is roughly in line with the consumer magazine industry,
where total print advertising revenues fell 3% over the same period, according to the Publishers Information Bureau.
Digital was another bright spot for B2B, with digital advertising increasing 15.9% from $3.5 billion to $4.1 billion. Revenue from data and business information services increased 7.3% from $2 billion to $2.19 billion. Thus, in 2012 digital advertising contributed about 16.2% of total B2B revenues, up from 11% in 2008, while print advertising kicked in 29.4%, down from 37% in 2008. Trade shows contributed 45.8% -- the same proportion as 2008 -- and data and business information services accounted for 8.6%, up from 6% in 2008.
Looking to the future, ABM was cautiously optimistic, noting the results of a January survey of B2B media CEOs in which 58% said that business conditions were positive, while 35% were neutral and just 7% were negative. Among respondents, 60.5% expected business conditions to be even better next year, while 37% were neutral and 2% negative.
Separately, ABM is on course to complete its merger with the Software & Information Industry Association’s Content Division, with the goal of creating an all-encompassing trade organization equipped for the digital age and the growing range of business-to-business media models. Among other things, the two organizations will join forces on political lobbying to protect members’ interests in the legal and public policy arenas. ABM will continue to offer member services including events, awards programs and Committees & Councils.