The Association of Business Information and Media (ABM) has released its latest Business Information Network (BIN) Report, a compilation of trade media sales data and revenue for business-to-business (B2B) media companies. Total revenues for B2B media companies in the U.S. rose from $24.7 billion in 2010 to $26.5 billion in 2011, an overall increase of 7.2%.
The BIN Report covers four B2b revenue streams, in order from largest to smallest: trade shows; print advertising; digital advertising; and data. The data category includes rich media and business information services on a subscription and transactional basis.
Digital advertising led in gains, with a leap from $5.2 billion to $6.4 billion, a boost of 22%. Print gained only 3.8% by comparison, but still represented $7.7 billion in revenues, or $1.3 billion more than digital. But that won’t last.
Trade show revenue contributed the highest revenue by stream at $10.5 billion, but showed the weakest gains at 2.2%. Still, by share of all revenue, it was the largest contributor to the industry revenue, at 40%.
Ad buyers and planners can expect more precise circulation figures, beginning in 2012. Folio reports that media auditor BPA Worldwide has approved several new and amended rules, some aimed at better segmenting print and digital readerships. All were member-requested changes.
Old rules assigned three categories of readership, “print,” “digital” and “both,” for a total of 100%; someone who read “both” was not counted as a print or digital reader. New measures will roll “both” readers into the “print” and “digital” categories, for higher figures.
The BPA board approved “downloaded apps” by month as a measure in a BPA Brand Report, versus a standard BPA report; but the measure must include verbiage “disclosing the limitations of the figures,” says Folio. App copies cannot be reported as qualified circulation, as are downloaded issues, or email deliveries.
Also true, subscriber access to digital copies will be used as a measure of renewals in some cases, such as when 1) a weekly is accessed nine times in six months; 2) a monthly is been accessed twice in six months; and 3) a quarterly publication is accessed every six months.
MediaPost has found some “eyeopeners” regarding online advertising, after a survey of .5 million unique domains. Among their findings:
- About 10% of domains selling ad impressions in scale-buying environments (networks, SSPs and exchanges) are non-English language sites. There is always chaff among the wheat in scale buying (e.g., porn sites, sites with hate speech), but non-English sites topped that chaff by percentage.
- About 21% of the sites MediaPost surveyed in late 2010 no longer exist, but, are still on whitelists; media buyers are paying for exposure on non-existent venues.
- “There’s a serious quality issue out there, folks,” MediaPost’s Andrew Lerner observed, which is a challenge to brands and marketers. About 58% available in real-time bidding (RTB) and large networks are what Lerner called “sub-standard environments for advertisers,” which use sub-standard publishing or editorial principles. Thus, nearly six of 10 domains are ones an ad buyer might actually choose to avoid.
Despite those findings, MediaPost observes that the higher-quality sites are more likely to deliver click-throughs, CPA and brand metrics. And while MediaPost did not reveal the names of any of the hate speech or substandard properties, a quick check of several “White Pride” sites (including kkk.com) revealed no advertisements.
Mergers and acquisitions in media were up 9% in 2011, a third consecutive year of growth, reports the investment banking firm Jordan, Edmiston Group (JEGI). As JEGI reports—
• The interactive markets (B2B, B2C, online media and technology, mobile media technology, marketing and interactive services) accounted for 71% of deal activity and 65% of value;
• Consumer magazines were up 23% in number and 15 times in deal value;
• Exhibitions and conferences were up 39% and 249%, respectively.
Total value of 896 deals represented $47 billion in value, which was up $4 billion from 2010, but trailing a boom year in 2007 with $104 billion in deals. The B2B market was fairly dead with 14 deals totaling $50 million. Consumer magazines were far more lively, including a $38 million investment in Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia by JC Penney. Some of the most notable deals fell largely outside of media, the largest being eBay’s purchase of GSI Commerce, an eCommerce platform provider for $2.4 billion. JEGI expects vigorous 2012, driven by the “torrid pace” as companies seek assets to drive growth and revenue streams.