B2B Publishers Finding More Digital Revenue

Fully 12% of total revenue for publishers (the vast majority of whom publish magazines) is digital revenue, finds [download page] survey results released in November 2012 by Godengo+Texterity, which was audited by BPA Worldwide. The business-to-business (B2B) segment attributes the largest percentage of revenue to digital (16%), but consumer publications, at 14%, are close behind. Digital publishing products covered by the survey include digital editions, mobile applications and websites, with digital editions and apps currently offered by 89% and 52%, respectively, of those who currently publish in print.

Digital Revenue Growth Outpaces Print

Magazines rely upon subscriptions and single-issue sales for revenue, of course, where digital growth is strongly outpacing print. Just 22% of respondents report an increase in print circulation revenue in 2012, while 41% report a decrease. However, 61% report an increase in digital edition sales, and 78% an increase in mobile edition sales.

Digital advertising revenue growth is outpacing print as well. While 41% report an increase in print ad revenues and 34% say those revenues have stayed the same — respectable findings, to be sure — 64% report an increase in digital ad revenues, and 25% report them staying the same. 54% report an increase in mobile app ad sales, and 43% say they have stayed the same.

Even so, looking at their advertisers as a whole, and where their ad dollars go, respondents indicate that 77% of those dollars go to print, while just 9% go to web and 6% to digital. Email newsletters and broadcast garner just 2% each.

Multichannel Advertising The Norm

37% of respondents reported selling advertising packages across publishing channels, and 51% do so to some degree, while 13% do not. The Association of Magazine Media (MPA) in October reported that in the US, the number of brands advertising in magazines with tablet, online, and print editions has been on the rise, up almost 40% year-over-year in H1 2012. That calculation is based on a monitored sample of 60 publishing brands with print editions, websites, and tablet editions. And, the number of brands advertising on that sample of 60 magazines has risen to 14,949 in the first half (H1) of 2012 of this year, up from 10,768 in H1 2011 and 9,536 in H1 2010.

Respondents to the Godengo+Texterity survey report that their single largest advertisers use a multichannel approach. Asked on which media channels they advertise, 94% of respondents answered print, followed by web (69%), digital (49%), email newsletters (40%), mobile (13%) and social (13%).

Respondents rated their customers as only of average willingness to spend across channels (at 5 on a 10-point scale). About one-third of respondents report that advertisers create specific ads for each medium they use, and just over half report their advertisers do so to some degree.

About The Data: The data is based on a survey conducted September 2012 via e-mail and aimed at publishers, focusing on the monetization of digital editions, magazine apps, and websites. Findings based on 139 completed surveys in B2B, consumer, association and niche sectors. 93% of respondents publish magazines, 28% publish newspapers, 26% brochures, and 24% catalogs. No other type garnered more than 20% of the respondents.