B-to-B Media Revenue Hits $27.6 Billion -- a Six-Year High

Digital Ad Revenue Is Up 15%, Led by Content Marketing, Native Advertising

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B-to-b media and information revenue reached $27.6 billion last year, up 3.3% over 2013 and reaching its highest point since 2008, according to the Business Information Network (BIN) report released Friday by the Association of Business Information and Media Companies (ABM).

The BIN report measures four sources of revenue within the b-to-b media and information industry: print advertising, digital advertising, events and data (including business information products and database services).

The ABM is a division of the Software and Information Industry Association, an association representing the software and digital content industries.

Last year's revenue growth was driven largely by digital advertising and data services, according to the report.

"B-to-b media is about connecting buyers and sellers, and the industry's ability to do so has increased tremendously thanks to digital delivery, customer understanding via audience data and modeling, and the fulfillment of lead generation," said Matt Kinsman, VP-content and programming at the ABM.

Digital ad revenue reached $5.8 billion last year -- up 15% over 2013 -- and now makes up more than 20% of all b-to-b industry revenue. The fastest-growing areas within digital advertising are native advertising, content marketing and marketing services, which now surpass display advertising in revenue, according to the report.

The data and business information category grew by 4.2% to $2.8 billion, making it the second-fastest growing category last year.

Events, which still make up the bulk of b-to-b revenue, grew by 1.8% to $12.2 billion last year, while b-to-b print advertising dropped 2.7% to $6.7 billion.

The year-end BIN reported noted how the makeup of b-to-b revenue has shifted between 2008 and 2014 -- a time period encompassing the recession and slow recovery.

During this six-year time period, digital ad revenue grew from 11% to 21% of total b-to-b revenue, and data-driven revenue grew from 6% to 10% of total revenue.

Revenue from events remained in the 45% to 48% range, while print advertising decreased from 36% to 24% of total b-to-b revenue.

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