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AM&P Releases Eye-Opening 2017 Publishing Benchmark Study

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Association media revenue continues to be driven by print advertising, representing an average of 49% of all publishing revenue, and with digital advertising coming in at 9%. This insight comes as part of the 2017 Association Publishing Benchmark Study, released today by Association Media & Publishing, a division of Connectiv, The Business Information Association.

To explain and analyze the results, AM&P will host two Lunch & Learn events, January 23 at 12:00-2:00 p.m. ET in Washington, DC and January 25 at 12:00-2:00 p.m. ET in Chicago.

Some good news for the new year: Association publishing revenue is trending up. In fact, digital advertising is increasing in revenue significance for associations, with the top two influencers coming in as digital media advertising (38%) and print advertising (25%). Nearly half of respondents (47%) identify digital advertising revenue as the largest publishing revenue growth area in 2018; print ranks a close second at 41%.

For digital-only revenue offerings, 44% of respondents currently sell native advertising or sponsored content for their flagship publications; 27% who currently do not plan to begin in 2018. Programmatic advertising remains a relatively small component of association advertising efforts with only 21% of respondents selling programmatic advertising on their publication website.

“Good decisions start with good information,” says Joe Vallina, MBA, MSM, CAE, director, product management, Nursing Knowledge Center, American Nurses Association and president of Association Media & Publishing. “We are confident that association publishing and communications professionals will value the important data and analysis from this research study as a planning tool, and further, it will help AM&P determine where to focus resources that cater to our members’ current publishing needs.”

The nearly 150-page study covers much more than publishing revenue. Additional research focus areas include breakdown of publication types, circulation, frequency, staff size and staff compensation, outsourcing trends, portion of member dues allocated to publishing, distribution costs, and more.

Among the findings of the Association Media & Publishing Benchmark Study:

  • A little more than one-third of respondents generate paid revenue with their flagship publication from four sources: Advertising 91%, Paid subscriptions (73% members and 39% non-members), Reprints 46%, and Single copies 34%.
  • Content is posted on social media across several channels with the highest usage on Facebook (88%), Twitter (81%), LinkedIn (49%), Instagram (30%), and YouTube (26%).
  • None of the respondents say they have converted their flagship print publication to a digital-only publication.

The research was conducted by Sabatier Consulting in partnership with Association Media & Publishing and made possible through generous financial support from Sheridan, Imagination, and Network Media Partners. A total of 456 invitations were sent to 210 AM&P members and 246 prospective members via email to editors, publishers, and association executives in October 2017. Eight-five organizations responded for an overall response rate of 18.3%. All participating organizations receive a free copy of the study. AM&P members may purchase the study for $99 and nonmembers for $199.