Tuesday, May 21, 2013

ABM’s year-end report shows B2B media grew revenue overall, though print ad pages continue depressed

The year 2012 was hoped to be one of recovery for the B2B media business in the U.S., and while total industry revenue did manage some growth, print ad pages continues their decline.

Source: ABM BIN Report
Ad pages fell 6.94 percent for 2012, according to the ABM's year-end report, though December saw declines moderate somewhat, with ad pages down 6.69 percent versus the same month in 2011.

The results, though, have to be disappointing. 2011 eked out a microscopic increase in ad pages following a number of years with declines. B2B publishers have, as a result, been trimming back their magazine portfolios in response.

Overall, B2B media grew 4.3 percent for the year, led by strong trade show growth – by far the biggest revenue generator in the industry. Both data/business information services and digital advertising also grew, with digital ad revenue accounting for 16 percent of all B2B media revenue, according to the ABM (up from just over 12 percent in 2010).

The report for overall revenue in B2B is compiled by the ABM from its own BIN report for magazine advertising, the CEIR, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research report for trade shows, Outsell's report for data and business information, and ABM estimates based on the Interactive Advertising Bureau Ad Revenue Report.

Side note: the association continues to maintain its own website along side its new site at thenewabm.com following the association's merger with the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA).

Another side note: I've always been skeptical about revenue reports from third parties. Ad pages can be counted pretty cleanly, though things like make-goods and other giveaways end up in the final reports. But revenue reports assume a media property is getting its rate card rates. So it is best to look at both the ad page and revenue reports, compare them and come to your own conclusions based on your own experience.