Revenue Up 5.4% for B2B Media & Information Industry in 2017

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The 2017 Business Information Network report looks a little different this year, with significantly larger overall revenue estimates for the B2B media and information category as a whole and for the Data and Paid Content category in particular. Working with our partner Outsell, we’ve recast the Data and Paid Content category to expand beyond just B2B media publishers to be more representative of the greater paid content universe that Connectiv now represents (including companies such as Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg BNA, Reed Tech, Lexis Nexis and more). For the BIN report, Outsell is tracking a number of verticals including Commercial Information, Credit & Finance, Legal, Science Technology & Healthcare and Human Capital Management.

We are also working with a new partner in MediaRadar for the print advertising numbers. Estimates for the events and digital advertising categories are still based on numbers released by CEIR and IAB, respectively.

Overall revenue was up 5.4 percent to $127.7 billion in 2017, compared to $121 billion in 2016 (for reference, our previous 2016 revenue estimate was $28.49 billion).

The bulk of that growth was driven by the newly defined Data and Paid Content category, which generated $102.8 billion in 2017, up 6 percent from $96.7 billion in 2016, according to Outsell. While that number stems in large part from categories and players we haven’t counted before, paid content and information services continue to grow for B2B media publishers through both organic launches and acquisition. According to the Connectiv Outlook, the majority of Connectiv members expect Paid Content and Information Services to be their second largest revenue stream after events by 2020.

Event revenue grew 3.1% to $13.2 billion, representing the best percentage growth for the events category in two years, according to numbers from the Center of Exhibition Industry Research. All exhibition metrics showed year-over-year gains in the fourth quarter of 2017, with exhibitors up 3.4 percent, net square feet up 2.5 percent and attendees up 1.5%.

Digital advertising rose 4.7 percent to $6.8 billion, eclipsing the total for print advertising ($4.9 billion) in B2B. And while digital display advertising is no longer showing the double-digit growth of just a few years ago, many B2B publishers are reporting increasing success with big-ticket, integrated sales packages that can range into the hundreds of thousands of dollars for a single fiscal quarter. The challenge for publishers will be whether they can continuously provide the level of service and hand-holding that such integrated packages require.    

The rate of decline in print advertising slowed in 2017 with a drop of “just” 2.6% to $4.9 billion, according to MediaRadar. Media & Entertainment led the pack with a gain of 9.7%. However, early results suggest that the decline in print advertising for B2B media as a whole accelerated dramatically in the first half of 2018.



Total Annual B2B Media & Information Industry Revenue

$billions               2015                     2016                     2017                     Growth


Events                  $12.65                  $12.81                  $13.2                    3.1%


Print                      $6.32                    $5.1                      4.9                        -2.6%


Digital                  $6.3                      $6.5                      $6.8                        4.7%



Data/Paid            $91.3                    $96.7                    102.8                      6.0%


Total:                   $116.57               $121.11               $127.7                     5.4%

Source: Connectiv’s BIN Report.


The BIN report combines data from several sources. Paid content estimates are supplied by Outsell. Event revenue is supplied by CEIR; print advertising data is provided by MediaRadar. Data on B2B digital advertising is estimated by Connectiv based on information provided by the IAB.

Matt Matt Kinsman is vice president of content + programming at Connectiv, the only association focused on the integrated b-to-b model—including publications, events, digital media, marketing services and business information. Prior to joining Connectiv's predecessor American Business Media in 2011, Kinsman was executive editor of Folio:, the leading information provider for the magazine industry.