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B2B Publishers Face Crisis

01 Sep 2009

Total ad pages at business-to-business publications in the U.S. fell 30.2 per cent in the first half of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008. For the beleaguered trade press, which has seen ad pages and revenue fall away at an even faster rate than their peers in consumer magazines, it's a knife in the heart reports MediaPost News.


ABM's Business Information Network said B2B ad pages fell 32.8 per cent in June compared to the same month in 2008, from 70,874 to 47,630. Total June rate card revenues fell from US$857.6 million last year to US$613 million this year, a 28.5 per cent drop. For the year-to-date, total ad revenues have fallen 26.5 per cent from US$5 billion to US$3.7 billion.


All 21 B2B categories tracked by ABM saw ad pages decline by double digits. Categories suffering the biggest losses in ad pages included transportation and logistics, down 54.7 per cent; computing, telecom and software, down 40.7 per cent; electronic engineering, down 36.7 per cent; building, engineering and construction, down 35.8 per cent; movies, radio, TV and video, down 32.5 per cent; banking, finance and insurance, down 32.5 per cent; automotive, down 32.4 per cent; retail and services, down 31 per cent; architecture, design and lighting, down 30.9 per cent; and health care, also down 30.9 per cent. The smallest percentage loss -- 16.2 per cent -- was in science, research and development.


Adding to publisher woes, B2B trade show revenue has also taken a dive, according to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, which charted a 18.6 per cent overall industry decline in the first half of 2009.


As reported in Publishing Edge, Reed-Elsevier has put most of the American magazines in its Reed Business Information portfolio up for sale after a "very difficult first half." The magazines for sale include trade publications, Broadcasting & Cable and Publishers Weekly. However, RBI is holding on to Variety, Reed Construction Data, MarketCast and some other non-media trade publications.


Other B2B print publications have also contracted: Haymarket Media's PR Week went monthly in June, and Ad Age reduced its frequency from 50 issues per year to 44. Radio & Records, owned by Nielsen, ceased publication after its June 5 issue.




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