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Online revenue begins to soar

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The online explosion is here. If you are not seeing a burst of new revenues from online sources, then you need to make some serious changes. As we reported in our February issue , online revenues are going way past 3% or 4% of total revenue-the standard in previous projections.

Reed Business Information U.S. CEO Jim Casella states that Internet revenues will be 15% of total revenue for his company's publishing business in the U.S. this year.

Last year, Dow Jones generated 23% of its revenue from electronic media. About 60% of JupiterMedia's $60 million in 2004 revenue came from online. TechTarget expects $80 million in revenue this year, most of it from online sources.

And then there is CNET, which generated $256 million in online revenue last year!

While e-mail newsletters are often the strongest area of actual revenue, followed by advertising on sites, there are so many new sources-from webinars to search to continuing education-that we have to keep our feet in all the online streams.

Some leading experts predict that rich media forms of advertising, with actual video feeds, will become the biggest generator of online revenue in the future. Business publishers will have to step up and experiment with these new formats for advertising and content, because if we don't, others will.

It may be time to think of advertising as much more than a print ad or a banner or other size online traditional ad. Think rich media advertising soon.

Bob Felsenthal can be reached at bfelsenthal@crain.com.

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