Pat McGovern, Founder and CEO of International Data Group (IDG), Forecasts Strong Growth in China for B2C and B2B Media

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McGovern speaks at “Breakfast with a Leader” sponsored by AdMedia Partners, a merger and acquisition advisor, and the Magazine Publishers of America (MPA)

When our first title was launched the post office required that we provide the number of pages per issue twelve months in advance

AdMedia Partners, a leading merger and acquisition advisor, and the Magazine Publishers of America (MPA) sponsored this morning’s “Breakfast with a Leader” featuring Pat McGovern, the founder and CEO of International Data Group (IDG). In his address, McGovern reprised the history of international publishing ventures in mainland China and outlined the very attractive prospects for continuing development of B2C and B2B media in that country.

Mr. McGovern was the first publishing CEO to launch a Chinese-American publishing joint venture in 1980. Today, IDG has the largest presence of any international publishing information media company. Mr. McGovern recently returned from his 102nd trip to China and shared his insights with a mixed crowd of B2B and consumer media executives.

Mr. McGovern pointed out that in the early years there was difficulty. “When our first title was launched the post office required that we provide the number of pages per issue twelve months in advance,” said Mr. McGovern. “When advertising demand became much greater than we expected, we quickly ran out of advertising page inventory. I told our Chinese partner to double the ad rates so that our clients would take smaller units and we could fit more in,” he continued. “But, none of the advertisers reduced their ad sizes so we knew we were on to a very good thing,” he concluded.

Today there continues to be such strong demand in China for International publications that many consumer magazines have cover prices equivalent to $25 with no returns allowed. Ad pages in Chinese versions of well-known consumer magazines very often surpass the number of ad pages carried by their US or European originals. McGovern went on to give examples of how the Chinese market is evolving as they adopt more of the techniques of western media companies. According to Mr. McGovern, quality has improved so much that it is as good as or better than in comparable publications in the west.

While print still dominates the consumer publishing world in China, business publishing is moving quickly to digital delivery. As in the US, business news and information needs to be accessible quickly and continuously which means taking every advantage that the Internet provides. Already today, more than 40% of IDG’s revenue is from their digital outlets, and the rate is expected to continue to climb. In the case of China, with more than 210 million Internet users concentrated among the business and professional people of the country, print pages in the business press are declining by 15% per year, while Internet revenue is increasing by 40% per year, according to Mr. McGovern.

In contrast, Mr. McGovern stated that that consumer publications will still have a print component far into the future. While the Internet is unsurpassed for quick delivery of data on any subject, the serendipity involved in reading a magazine, the tactile pleasure of turning the pages and the high reproduction quality leads him to believe that consumer magazines in China will be around in today’s format for many years to come.

About AdMedia Partners, Inc.
Founded in 1990, AdMedia Partners provides M&A advisory services for digital and traditional media, marketing and information businesses. The merger and acquisition advisor has completed over twenty media M&A deals in the past year, including transactions with Hachette Filipacchi Media, in its sale of assets of Premiere to Wenner Media, Bonnier AB, with its acquisition of Time4Media and The Parenting Group, and ReadyMade in its sale to Meredith.

For more information, contact:
Greg Jarboe of SEO-PR
978-549-9537 or greg.jarboe@seo-pr.com

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