‘ABM Financial Survey’ shows ancillary revenue streams not as ancillary as they used to be

By Published on .

Amelia Island, Fla.—The results of the “2009 American Business Media Financial Survey” indicate that b-to-b media companies have adjusted to the slow erosion of print advertising revenue by boosting ancillary revenue streams, such as online, events and data.

The survey, which was officially presented Sunday at the ABM Annual Conference in Amelia Island, was prepared by media investment bank Jordan, Edmiston Group. It included responses from 20 b-to-b media companies, which detailed their financial performance from print, online, events and data between 2006 and 2008.

The survey data from the fourth quarter, which seemed to anticipate the steep print advertising page declines so far this year, give ammunition to the argument that nonprint revenue streams may not be so ancillary anymore. But even with print’s current struggles, the “ABM Financial Survey” showed that magazines still produce the bulk of overall revenue for b-to-b media companies.

In 2008, print accounted for a combined 62.4% of the overall revenue of the 20 companies surveyed, although that share of overall revenue declined 8.4% between 2007 and 2008. The four other largest revenue streams all increased their share of overall revenue last year. Online was the second-largest revenue generator at 19.6%, a share that increased 15.1% between 2007 and 2008. Trade shows (9.7% revenue share), conferences (3.9%) and data (2.3%) also showed increases.

The survey’s figures from the fourth quarter of 2008 show a marked increase in print’s softness, especially in comparison with other revenue streams. Display advertising plunged 16.7% compared with the fourth quarter of 2007. In the same time frame, online revenue continued to grow, jumping 28.3%.

Online lead-generation revenue increased a remarkable 388.1% to $2 million, albeit from a small base of less than $500,000. Conference revenue more than doubled to $22 million, while trade show revenue fell to $24 million, a drop of 18.5%.

Most Popular
In this article: