Media Roundup: Multiple B-to-B Media Platforms Gain
magazine revenues essentially flat, but category leaders remain
core buys. Time, Inc. folds Business 2.0.
compiled by AICPA Custom Media Solutions
NEW YORK, August 30 —
Business media continues to show growth in the new multi-platform
media environment as revenue from tradeshows and both digital and
custom media products outpace growth in magazine revenue.
The most recent Business Information Network (BIN)
numbers for the first half of 2007 show a 3.3 percent decline in
ad pages and ad revenue dipping 1.9 percent. Categories continuing
to languish include Computing, Software, Telecomm off 18.6 percent
and Business, Advertising & Marketing down 7.5 percent.
“While the May magazine numbers are not what
we had hoped they would be, the year-to-date numbers continue to
suggest that magazine revenues remain essentially flat,” said
Gordon T. Hughes II, president and CEO of American Business Media.
“Despite a decline in magazine advertising revenue other platforms
are continuing to show strong growth contributing to an industry
that is healthy.”
Top b-to-b magazine advertisers still committed
to print, but online garners greater share of spending.
The top 100 advertisers in b-to-b magazines spent
an estimated $1.12 billion on b-to-b print ads last year, down a
hair from the $1.16 billion that they committed to print ads in
2005, according to data from TNS Media Intelligence. While most
of the heaviest spenders on b-to-b publications acknowledged a shifting
of dollars to online, experts say this hardly signals the death
knell for trade publications, especially publications that are No.1
or No.2 in their respective categories.
The No. 1 advertiser in b-to-b publications last
year was IBM Corp., which spent an estimated $92.9 million on b-to-b
print ads, up 12.9 percent from $82.3 million in 2005, according
to TNS. No. 2 was Microsoft Corp., which spent an estimated $67.4
million, down 16 percent from $80.2 million in 2005. The third largest
advertiser in b-to-b magazines last year was Hewlett-Packard Co.,
which spent an estimated $47.3 million, up 10.8 percent from $42.7
million in 2005.
Rounding out the top 10 advertisers in b-to-b magazines
last year were General Electric Co., United Business Media, Sony
Corp., Time Warner, CDW Corp., United Internet and AT&T Inc.
"Trade magazines are very important to us,"
said Noah Syken, manager of U.S. media planning and sponsorship
advertising at IBM's corporate marketing group shortly after the
TNS findings were released. "They are playing an increasingly
important role as we build capabilities across different industries."
In addition to IT publications, IBM advertises in magazines reaching
finance and banking, government, supply chain and human resources
However, Syken added, "The evolution of the
digital media landscape will help shape our plans. We want to tap
into some of the online communities that are forming around industries
and where some of our targets exchange ideas." He said IBM
will look for media partners that are leaders in their categories
and can deliver a full range of integrated platforms.
Microsoft also said it is looking for media partners
that can provide print, online, events and partnership activities.
"It has become more than just a transactional ad buy,"
said David Grubb, global media director at Microsoft.
"Increasingly, we're looking at what kind of
strategy each printed publication has in the digital space. That
is a really big piece for us." Also, he said, "One area
we are focused on is extending the impact of the media investment
to benefit other areas of the communications mix."
Other top advertisers also decreased print spending
last year. GE, the No. 4 advertiser, spent an estimated $30.5 million
on b-to-b ads in 2006, down 5.0 percent from $32.1 million in 2005,
according to TNS. Sony Corp., the No. 6 advertiser, spent about
$27.7 million on b-to-b ads last year, down 38.3 percent from $44.9
million in 2005. Time Warner, No. 7, decreased b-to-b print spending
by 26.7 percent to $24.7 million last year, from $33.7 million in
2005. However, there was one huge leap in print advertising by No.
10 advertiser AT&T, which increased its spending on b-to-b print
ads from $5.4 million in 2005 to an estimated $23.2 million last
year, up 330 percent.
Following its merger with SBC Communications, AT&T
launched a major rebranding campaign with the tagline, "Your
world. Delivered," which had a heavy print component.
Inc. Shutters Business 2.0
New York—Time Inc.’s Business 2.0, one
of the most prominent business titles launched during the dot-com
boom, will cease publication following the October issue.
Reports said Time Inc. turned down offers from Mansueto
Ventures, which owns Inc. and Fast Company, to acquire the Business
2.0 brand and its circulation list of 600,000 subscribers and opted
to fold the title altogether.
Business 2.0 launched in 1998 and was initially
published by U.K.-based Future Network, which sold the magazine
to Time Inc. in 2001 for a reported $68 million. One of the high-flying
business books of the late 1990s, its ad page growth was regularly
in the double digits. But its fortunes fell when the Internet market
bottomed out earlier this decade and ad pages started to plummet.
Through the first half of this year, Business
2.0’s ad revenue dropped 30.1 percent and its ad pages fell
34.1 percent, compared with the year-earlier period, according to
the Publishers Information Bureau.