Trade media and info industry grew 3.4 percent in 2012

BIN Revenue Streams 2008-2012May 20, 2013 - In 2012, the business-to-business media and information industry grew 3.4 percent, from $24.66 billion in 2011 to $25.49 billion in 2012, according to ABM’s latest BIN Report. Adjusting for inflation, the industry still grew, albeit at a more sedate 1.3 percent clip.

The BIN – or Business Information Network – data considers four general sources of trade media revenue: trade shows and events, print advertising, digital advertising and business information (known more generally as “data”). As shown in the graphic at right, event revenue constitutes 46 percent of total revenue, print is 29 percent, digital is 16 percent, and data is 9 percent.

Comparing those revenue streams to the data for 2008, the percent of industry revenue from events has remained the largest contributor, while the portion from print advertising has decreased from 37 percent to 29 percent. Data and digital revenue has made up the difference.

Looking at the revenue stream growth from 2011 to 2012, not including an adjustment for inflation, digital advertising grew the fastest, at 15.9 percent. Data grew 7.3 percent, events grew 4.4 percent, and print advertising fell 4.8 percent, a negative growth rate.

Over the longer term, the industry has still not recovered from its high water mark set in 2008, when the total industry generated $28.7 billion in 2012 dollars. The past three years of historical data, adjusted for inflation, can be seen below (red figures in the table are ABM estimates).

Delving more deeply into the year-end print report, the BIN data reveals that only two vertical segments – agriculture and travel/events – showed an increase in both ad pages and total revenue in 2012. Another six of the 22 total verticals included in the survey managed to grow print ad revenue even as total ad folio shrank. The remaining 14 verticals saw aggregate print ad pages and revenue decline. That’s over a total of 6,044 business magazines currently published in the United States.

BIN Table 2010-2012

ABM compiles the core data for its BIN Report from several participating partners. Trade show data is contributed by CEIR, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research. The data and business information stream is provided by Outsell, a research and advisory firm focused on the publishing and information industries. Digital advertising data is an ABM estimate based on the Interactive Advertising Bureau Ad Revenue Report. The print advertising data for 2012 is provided by Inquiry Management Systems (IMS), a technology- and research-based publishing service bureau; the print data for previous periods has not been revised and is an ABM estimate based on the figures released at the time by IMS. Data on healthcare print titles is provided by Kantar Media. The number of business magazines published in the United States is from MediaFinder.

The ABM BIN Report tracks industry revenue data for business media and information companies on an ongoing basis. The print component is released monthly. The event component is released quarterly. The data and digital components are released semi-annually. For more information, visit the ABM BIN Report webpage or contact ABM research and content director Michael Moran Alterio at or call (212) 784-6365.

Correction (May 21, 2013): A slight error in the calculations for print advertising resulted in minor numeric changes after initial publication.

By Michael Moran Alterio

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