Other segments tracked by ABM did better, with events revenue (now the mainstay of the B2B media business) up 1.4% from $2.55 billion to $2.58 billion over the same period, per figures from the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, which attributed the tepid growth to “weak exhibition performance in the construction, business, education and non-profit exhibitions sectors.”
Total digital revenues increased 12.6% from $1.2 billion to $1.35 billion, and revenues derived from various types of data offerings, including business information products and database services, edged up 3.3% from $690 million to $700 million.
Taking all these categories together, total B2B revenues were basically flat in the second quarter, with a modest 0.4 increase from $6.29 billion to $6.31 billion. For the first half of the year, total revenues increased 2.5% from $13.06 billion to $13.39 billion.
The weak figures for 2014 are especially noteworthy following last year’s strong performance, when total revenues for the business-to-business media industry rose 4.8% from $25.6 billion in 2012 to $26.8 billion in 2013.
Last year, after decades operating as an independent industry organization ABM merged with the Software & Information Industry Association. According to the two groups, the goal of the merger was to create an all-encompassing trade organization equipped for the digital age and a growing range of business-to-business media models. ABM continues to offer member services including events, awards programs and Committees & Councils.