THE TOP 10
No. 1: The Wall Street Journal
No. 2: Google
No. 3: BusinessWeek
No. 4: USAToday
No. 5: ESPN SportsCenter
No. 6: Fortune
No. 7: Forbes.com
No. 8: CNET Networks
No. 9: InformationWeek
No. 10: CNBC 'Closing Bell'
Click here for a downloadable version of the complete Media Power 50 - 2005 (PDF).
Many of the top properties in this year's edition of BtoB's Media Power 50 are protecting their esteemed brands not by standing pat but by changing constantly. Venues ranging from the venerable (The Wall Street Journal, which tops our list for the sixth straight year) to the comparatively nascent (Google, which occupies the No. 2 spot for the second consecutive year) are relentless in their evolution.
These properties are changing at an ever increasing rate to keep pace with the fluid habits of readers and b-to-b marketers. "They are changing," said Vickie Szombathy, VP-media director at Starlink Worldwide. "I think they're just following their audience. It's an adapt or die kind of thing."
A recent Jupitermedia Corp. study is one in a long line showing that media consumption has shifted to the Web. The study indicated that the number of online adults who prefer the Internet as their main source of news has grown by more than 35% in the last four years-at the expense of television and newspapers.
"You're going to be seeing a lot more changes in media than what we've seen in the last seven years," said Mike Paradiso, global media director for Computer Associates International. "The next seven years will be 10 times what we've seen in the last seven years. There are digital, and wireless and the convergence of media. And there are increased targeting capabilities that will be available that are going to bring about a lot more changes, and brands will have to adapt."
With the print Wall Street Journal battered by drops in technology and b-to-b advertising expenditures over the past five years, its corporate parent, Dow Jones & Co., has launched numerous changes to strengthen the still formidable business newspaper. Earlier this year, the Journal introduced a version of wsj.com for BlackBerry handheld devices. It also added RSS feeds. Additionally, Dow Jones acquired MarketWatch, a free financial site, to complement the Online Journal, which is a subscription site.
Google isn't sitting still either. The search engine, which has seen its annual revenue go from zero to $3.2 billion in less than a decade, will begin offering display ads on Web sites for which Google sells advertising.
TechTarget, a regular on the Media Power 50 list, is another dot-com company that refuses to stagnate. It started with portal Web sites targeting niche technology users and has since moved into targeted events and other areas, including magazines.
Similarly, CNET Networks is furiously looking for ways to expand beyond its core information technology audience in the U.S. Among its new initiatives: the purchase of PCHome.com in China and a section of ESPN.com, powered by CNET, that is a guide to tech products that help in watching sports. With its recently launched BNET site, which aggregates white papers and other vendor data for rising executives, CNET is attempting to attract a general business audience on top of its IT audience.
Taking advantage of advances in broadband's penetration, three CMP Media properties on the Media Power 50 list-InformationWeek, EE Times and TechWeb-have added a new video component to their Web sites. InformationWeek earlier this year debuted "Inside InformationWeek," a regular feature that appears on informationweek.com and TechWeb.com. Lou Bertin, InformationWeek's editor at large, hosts the show, which examines a feature in the print publication.
Similarly, EE Times launched daily video coverage of its Embedded Systems Conference. Brian Fuller, editor in chief of the magazine, hosted the program, which features interviews from the show floor. EE Times also plans to use the video format to cover the upcoming Design Automation Conference.