B2B Media & Publishing

Industry Overview

The B2B Media and Information Industry cover traditional publishers of trade magazines and information industry companies. Connectiv the business information association (a division of SIIA) estimates the total revenue was 127.7 Billion $ in 2017 with a growth rate of 5.4%. At a high level the revenue is broken down into four segments – Events, Print Advertising, Digital Advertising and Data/Paid Content. Connectiv has recently recast the data and paid content category to expand beyond just B2B Media publishers to include information sectors such as commercial, credit and finance, legal, science and technology, healthcare, and HCM.

Total Annual B2B Media & Information Industry Revenue

As it can be seen from the adjacent data this recast has seen a massive change in revenue figures post inclusion of the larger universe of companies such as (Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg, Reed, Lexis Nexis etc)

Amongst the traditional B2B media publishers (business magazine publishers) the largest revenue stream is Events followed by Digital Advertising, that recently in 2015, went ahead of Print Advertising which was third and Data / Business information fourth. In terms of importance and future of revenue streams the industry as whole expects the Events and Data / Paid content will play a critical role and become much more important than print and digital advertising.

$billions 201520162017Growth (%)
Events12.65 12.8113.23.1
Print Advertising6.32 5.14.9-2.6
Digital Advertising6.
Data/Paid Content91.396.7102.86.0

Source: Connectiv’s BIN Report.

Trends and Disruptions

The pace of change of media consumption is extremely rapid and overall B2B publishing has been slower to evolve than some other forms of media. While it is difficult change for some, there is a fantastic opportunity for companies that embrace a modern approach. The last two decades has required traditional B2B media companies to evolve their business models multiple times due to disruptive pressure from emerging technologies.

1. Original Business Model

Originally it was a straight forward model where the media brand would aggregate an audience of qualified buyers in certain vertical, produce content in a print magazine for this market, sell print advertisements to suppliers and merchants, and further monetize the business through events.

2. Internet & Search Disruptions

In the early 2000s with the internet and innovations in digital marketing B2B media organization evolved to go online. Publishers launched online presence through websites with banner advertisements replacing traditional print ads. In addition webinars, e-newsletters and virtual events were added to off-set the massive losses of print advertising.

3. Social Media Domination

The last ten years further disruptions emerged due to search and social media domination and proliferation of content sources. Growing sophistication in mar-tech and ad-tech, emergence of programmatic advertising, predictive analytics continue to alter what B2B Media Publishers do.

4. Revenue & Advertising Transformations

Trends fueled by technology and financial capital are important; however the focus for publishers will be to improve recurring revenues and revenue growth through solving client problems in a remarkably superior manner. These are timeless principles for success.

5. From B2B to Performance Media

To stay ahead and continue to deliver value B2B media organizations are now evolving to become “performance media” companies. This basically entails focusing on data centric models where media companies develop deeper insights into audiences, content consumption and sell those insights coupled with marketing support to clients.

6. Future of Media

The future of B2B Media is going to involve continuous innovation and enhancement of business models and revenue streams. Surveys with industry CEOs and growth data suggests that the F2F (face to face) domain (Events) is the promising area along with data and content compared with advertising. The potential others are for B2B Media to evolve to become technology or marketing services providers.

There are several opinions about the future of media as digital technology and user expectations are constantly evolving. On one hand there is a shift towards media companies owning fewer brands with more models and on the other hand there is an expansion in number of brands to meet needs of sub-audiences and niche markets. Technology and capital based disruption in the market place is forcing media companies to adapt by re-inventing business models, re-evaluating their core competencies and re-establishing their organizational design. While there is a proliferation of diverse and overlapping business models, it is only natural that revenue and business model innovation will settle to a few established or defining models in most sectors. Until that happens media companies will have to keep up with fast changing user expectations.

Lester Solutions

One of the core value B2B media companies provide to their clients is their audience. Lester strategically fits in to enhance this core strength. We specialize in providing solutions to customers in this industry that help them grow their audience by leveraging social media and couple that with email, direct mail and traditional telemarketing to provide a differentiated service to customers.

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