The first third of the year proved to be a tough one for B2B print ad sales, per the latest Business Information Network (BIN) data from the Association of Business Media (ABM). After declining by 4.8% last year, total Q1 ad sales this year dropped by 6.2%, from $1.83 billion to $1.72 billion. The second quarter didn’t start much better, with sales falling by about 5.5% year-over-year.
Ad sales declined have been particularly pronounced in some industries. During the first quarter, for example, sales wer down by almost 20% year-over-year for the business, marketing and advertising (-19.97%), aviation, aerospace and military (19.75%) and electronic engineering (-19.62%) sectors. In fact, of the 22 sectors measured, only 7 posted increases. Only one sector – Â travel, business conventions and meetings – registered increases in ad sales throughout the first 4 months of the year.
Print continues to be one of the key B2B media and information revenue sources behind trade shows and events, but its contribution to overall revenues is declining. Last year, print accounted for 29% of revenues, down from 37% in 2008.
Despite declining ad sales, print magazines are still a key resource for B2B decision-makers. In a recent survey conducted by ABM among B2B media users who are decision-makers, 65% indicated that they rely on print magazines to research work-related purchasing decisions or supplier selections.