Stars aligned for more consolidation

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A clicking economy. An up-and-coming generation of b-to-b publishing executives. Publishers' widening embrace of Webinars and podcasting. Add them all up and the constellations are properly aligned for continued consolidation within b-to-b media, according to Mark Edmiston, managing director of AdMedia Partners.

"As companies reinvent themselves and integrate the Web into their basic business, they'll become a lot more valuable; and that'll spark the interest of the bigger players," said Edmiston, former president of Newsweek and Newsweek International, who joined AdMedia Partners in 1998 after leaving Jordan, Edmiston Group, the media investment bank he helped found in 1992.

Edmiston said those b-to-b publishers that have "been through the valley of death the last few years and come out the other side" have finally started to deal with issues that are now in the vanguard of b-to-b marketing, such as search, Webinars and podcasting.

"B-to-b publishers realize that there needs to be substantial investment [in these areas] and a new mind-set, and that is leading some people to say, `Well, this is the time for me to sell, maximize the value that I've built over time and let somebody else take [the company] to the next level,' " Edmiston said.

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