B2B Print Revenue Tumbles, Digital Up

Business-to-business publications’ print ad revenues fell 9.9% from $1.87 billion in the third quarter of 2013 to $1.68 billion in the third quarter of 2014, according to the Business Information Network, a division of the America Business Media industry organization. That’s a steeper decline than the first quarter of the year, when print revenues slipped 3.6% to $1.6 billion.

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.

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