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Online Growth Failed To Offset B2B Media Companies’ Decline In ’08

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imageB2B media companies had some good news and some bad news last year: revenue from online, conferences, trade shows and data were up significantly over 2007, but it wasn’t enough to offset the decline in magazine revenue, which meant that in all, revenue for these businesses were down 2.2 percent, according to a study by American Business Media and the Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc. The numbers weren’t terribly surprising, especially given last week’s news that IDG, one of the largest B2B publishers, was cutting its workforce by 8 percent as part of a companywide reorg that would emphasize a “web-centric” model, Folio reported.

Online’s strongest, mags are weakest: Judging by the numbers, a web-centric model makes increasingly more sense. Of all the categories B2B media companies relied on, online revenue provided the strongest growth, gaining 15.1 percent. Looking at online’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) since 2006, the space was up 26.8 percent. On the other side of the B2B spectrum, magazines performed the worst. Mag revs fell 8.4 percent in ’08 and declined 3.9 percent on a CAGR basis. See the chart from ABM/JEGI’s report after the jump.


2 Responses to “Online Growth Failed To Offset B2B Media Companies’ Decline In ’08”

  1. rebekah donaldson

    I think Tim makes a good point, actually. And I'll add one:
    – IDG is not like other b2b publishing companies – they took an approach of spinning off (seemingly) every keyword into a new publication. There are some really high quality individual pubs. But one piece of content getting shared between a dozen plus closely related publications? The infrastructure for pushing out quality content seemed ornate.

  2. I have to admit, I'm having a hard time digesting your conclusions.

    You breezily ignore the fact that 2007 represents the peak in a pretty heady market, and that 2008 heralded the current worldwide recession. And the fact that online is growing year over year is hardly news as most media companies are still developing their online sales departments.

    While I'd agree that the future is probably online vs. print, there's absolutely nothing in these numbers that substantively backs that up given the more dominant surrounding economic contexts.