Report: B-to-B Ad Growth Fueled By 'eMedia,' Not Print

A pair of new reports reveal that ad revenue for business-to-business publications continues to grow, but the main engine of that growth is no longer print. It's coming from so-called e-media--online and digital editions--and from events and trade shows.

That is evident from a new section in the just-released 2005 edition of investment banker Veronis Suhler Stevenson's annual Communications Industry Forecast, which for the first time documents the growth of non-traditional B-to-B revenue sources.

While business-to-business magazine media spending is projected to grow a modest 2.7 percent in 2005--and between 3.1 percent and 3.8 percent over the next four years--trade shows and exhibitions made a marked gain of 6.1 percent this year, with growth set to seesaw between 5.5 percent and 6 percent over the same time period.

"As travel budgets and overall business information budgets increased over the past two years, trade show organizers have been able to amplify vendor-related costs without much backlash," the report said.



The report also noted that media spending in the e-media realm had increased briskly, 26.5 percent in 2005, and that, while still accounting for a far smaller share of business-to-business spending than magazines (8.4 percent to 47.7 percent, respectively), "we continue to expect e-media to continue to be the fastest growing sub-segment in 2005 and throughout the forecast period."

Meanwhile, the most recent update from the Business Information Network, a service of trade association American Business Media, appears to support VSS' trend line. Combined advertising revenues for the first half of 2005 rose up 3.6 percent over the same period in 2004.

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