BtoB Media Business - March 2010 - (Page 6)

COVER STORY licensing relationships with these organizations more seriously. Paul Gerbino, publisher of Thomas Publishing’s ThomasNet News, remains skeptical that media companies can overturn the “content should be free” mentality. Although he is focusing on expanding fee-based services for traditional advertising clients, Gerbino continues to license content to aggregators LexisNexis and Factiva. It’s not a major revenue source, but every dollar counts, he said, adding that there’s a positive halo effect for the ThomasNet brand when its content is included in these branded business information services. Eric Baum, VP-licensing at Summit Business Media, used to focus on mergers and acquisitions. “Since that slowed down,” he said, “one of my responsibilities is to look at our current library to find new ways to monetize existing assets.” Baum said Summit is making sure it’s maximizing revenue through its current content aggregators, which include Factiva and LexisNexis. That includes “making sure our systems can talk to one another and that our content is tagged correctly,” he said. Baum also aims to expand content syndication arrangements in which Summit provides a certain amount of content for an annual fee. And he has met with a number of publishers outside the U.S. to explore the possibility of licensing or royalty deals. At The Deal, Worth and his team decided to license a business information service directly to banks, hedge funds, law firms and large corporations, even though history has shown that “not many organizations can make the organic transition from a subscription business to a licensing business,” he said. Worth had confidence in his plan for several reasons, including the fact that The Deal would continue to monetize content through traditional advertising. Worth set a goal to reverse the company’s revenue mix of about 60% advertising/40% paid content, but he remains committed to both revenue streams. Since The Deal Pipeline debuted in the fourth quarter of 2008, licensing revenue has surpassed advertising revenue and the service has grown to almost 450 customers and 30,000 users, Worth said, adding that renewals are running about 90%. For the past several years, ALM CEO William Pollak has been leading the charge Dave Ember/ Multiple ways to monetize Many business models are considered as companies expand their information offerings BY MARIE GRIFFIN s they took advantage of emerging content platforms over the past decade, b-to-b publishing companies evolved into business media companies. Now, they increasingly see themselves as business information companies. By looking at their content as information and separating it from the business models they traditionally used to monetize it, they are opening up yet more options for driving revenue. The Deal LLC, for example, had a typical publishing business model for the first nine years of its history, monetizing its editorial staff’s reporting and industry expertise through subscriptions and advertising. In 2008, President-CEO Kevin Worth led the organization through a fundamental business model shift, exiting the subscription business, both in print and online, and entering institutional licensing with a new offering called The Deal Pipeline. Undertaking a business model shift as radical as The Deal’s is rare, but throughout the industry, top executives are working harder than ever to identify more ways to monetize content and industry expertise. There’s no end in sight to the debate over whether readers will pay for content online. In the meantime, businesses such as Reed Elsevier’s LexisNexis, Dow Jones’ Factiva and Thomson Reuters’ Westlaw are still getting large institutions to pay for their information services, and business media companies are taking their content 6 | Media Business | March 2010 |

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BtoB Media Business - March 2010

BtoB Media Business - March 2010
Signs Point to a Rebound in M&A Activity
Data Products Increasingly Driving Revenue
Audience Developers Adapt to Digital
Sales & Marketing
Social Media Experimentation a Must

BtoB Media Business - March 2010