Trade info industry grows 4.4% in first half of 2013

Dec. 5, 2013 - For the first six months of the year, business-to-business media and information company revenue totaled $13.108 billion, up 4.4 percent from the $12.560 totaled over the same period in 2012. ABM's Business Information Network (BIN) Report, an ongoing research project that calculates the size of the industry, considers revenue from trade events, print advertising, digital (online) advertising, and business information products and database services (collectively, "data").

H1 2013 BIN Report Table

Event revenue, as reported to ABM by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, rose 2.7 percent. CEIR is projecting that "there will be minimal growth through 2013" -- although the CEIR report emphasizes that the trade event industry has experienced twelve consecutive quarters of year-on-year growth.

Print advertising revenue is slowly declining, showing a 4.3 percent dip compared with the first half of 2012, although it remains a substantial contributor to total revenue (see pie chart). Some segments, such as health, tech and agriculture, are doing very well. ABM's print advertising data is reported by publishing service bureau Inquiry Management Systems

Digital advertising surged 24.8 percent in the first half of 2013, driven by two factors. Search engine revenue, which is not included in the BIN Report, is growing at a slower pace. That may be because marketers are pushing ad dollars into mobile platforms, which are included in the BIN Report; mobile ad revenues rose a startling 145 percent over the first half. That growth rate is accelerating -- considering the second quarter only, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, mobile advertising rose 149 percent compared with the second quarter of 2012.

The data component of the BIN Report, which includes business information, online directories and database services, grew 7.1 percent in the first half of 2013, driven by growth among several major players. McGraw Hill Financial's Commodities & Commercial Markets division saw revenue grow 7 percent in the half. Hearst Business Media, which reported its 12th year of record revenue in 2012, has recently launched data services focusing on credit reports and electronic medical records. The data component of the BIN Report is provided by information and research firm Outsell, supplemented by publicly available data and ABM estimates.

H1 2013 BIN Report Revenue Share By Stream

By Michael Moran Alterio