Monday, November 5, 2012

The ABM reports that B2B ad pages cratered in July

July was apparently a horrible month for B2B publishers in the U.S. as The Association of Business Information & Media Companies (ABM) reported that ad pages fell 10.13 percent in July, and are now down 8.56 percent on the year. The far less reliable revenue numbers show a somewhat smaller decrease of 4.53 percent.

The hardest hit categories in July were health care, which saw ad pages fall 28.88 percent, and pharmaceuticals, a related category, down 24.26 percent. For the year, computing and health care are suffering the biggest declines, down 20.39 and 17.91 percent a piece. Agriculture was the only category measured that showed decent gains, up 5.88 percent for the year.

Reports like this, the Business Information Network (BIN) report), must be understand in context. It has been a terrible past few years for B2B publishers. While ad pages were essentially flat in 2011, that year ended a long streak of declines. In 2010 ad pages fell over 3 percent, while in 2009 they fell a whopping 28.56 percent according to the ABM's BIN reports. In 2008, the first year of the financial crisis, B2B ad pages fell over 9 percent.

Many B2B publishers, encouraged by last year's less than disastrous were hoping to see solid gains this year. The yea, though, has proven to be a disappointment.

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