Paul Woodward of BSG Asia on B2B media trends
Feb 28, 2008
Did you see that article in Plastics News last month? Nah, me neither.
So thank goodness there’s people who follow the Business-to-Business trade publishing trends for the rest of us. The industry is enormous, with some estimates valuing the China-centric portion of the industry alone at $2 billion in 2007. (Biggest players include companies like Global Sources, Alibaba, Reed Business Information, etc)
1- Local players challenged by China’s overpricing
As Chinese wages rise and global businesses relocate their manufacturing to Vietnam and other low cost markets, the vast B2B industry focussed on Southern China will need to retool themselves for new markets. Big players like Global Sources and Alibaba will have the ability, but lesser companies will be very challenged.
2- The opening of second-tier cities in China and India
As second-tier cities rise in importance, both in India and China, will Asia’s trade publishers manage the shift from their current focus on coastal China? Another question: Will any foreigners figure out how to make it in India?
3- North American players weakened
With the slowdown of the US economy, North American trade publishers will be facing cutbacks and tough times. This could present real opportunities for stronger Asia publishers.
4- New Internet-led expansion tactics
While many traditional publishers STILL don’t appreciate the Internet, savvy players are doing a reversed entry to new markets. Instead of publishing a magazine and then putting content online, the smarter publishers start online-only editions for a country and wait to see if there is sufficient demand for a publication. In Asia, online expansion has the added advantage of avoiding the many regulatory and censorship issues surrounding a print publication.
Best example of this trend? Plastics News!! Their Chinese site only exists online.
See, you should have read it last month.