BtoB Magazine is shutting down its print product and will become part of sister publication, Advertising Age, by January 1, in a move that likely reflects sustained pressure on print advertising in the media and marketing categories for business publications.
Both titles are owned by Crain Communications.
BtoB’s features, news coverage and event franchises will be folded into Ad Age, the company says in a statement, while production of all existing products and services will continue independently through the end of this year, as scheduled.
"B-to-b and consumer marketers are increasingly using similar tools and wrestling with the same challenges, so it just made sense to have a single marketing publication," says Rance Crain, president of Crain Communications and editor-in-chief of Ad Age. "We think we can do a better job if we coordinate coverage of all marketing under one brand, with one strategy."
BtoB had scaled back its print coverage before, now publishing six times annually. Last year, Media Business, BtoB’s supplement focused on business media, eliminated its print editions. Media Business launched in 2004 as a quasi-standalone magazine.
The move comes at a challenging time in the magazine’s advertising market. Ad pages dropped 13 percent for the business, advertising and marketing segment in the first quarter of 2013, while ad revenue fell 20 percent, according to ABM’s most recent BIN report.
Bob Felsenthal, publisher of BtoB, will work with Ad Age publisher Allison Arden during the transition. Crain did not comment on any additional staff moves.
Though Crain says the merger "reflects the growing overlap between b-to-b and consumer strategies," there remain significant differences between business-to-business marketing and consumer-oriented marketing.