|Research and Markets: B2B Online Media Report (Update) - in Total, There Are 19 General Sourcing Platforms and an Additional Five Vertical Industry Sourcing Sites
This is an updated edition of this report which was last published in October 2008.
- Of the 30 businesses in BSG’s B2B Online Media ranking, 19 are primarily finished goods sourcing websites or online trade directories (e.g. Alibaba.com and Global Sources). There are an additional five websites which are vertical industry websites (i.e. Netsun’s network of vertical sourcing sites). Five of the 30 are technology-focused trade publications and there is one general business title in the Top 30, Beijing-based Caijing.
- The top ten has been more or less stable with generally the same group of companies moving up and down the ranking. Alibaba.com easily held onto the number one position again, although Seoul-based EC21 did manage to move up five slots to number two.
- There are eight sourcing sites and two technology-focused websites in the top ten. The Japanese tech portal, ITmedia.co.jp and ChinaByte.com, a Chinese technology industry portal are the two non-sourcing websites in the top ten.
- There was some volatility in the bottom half of the ranking. HKTDC.com jumped eight positions up to #13. ZDnetAsia.com also moved up eight positions to #18. Guangzhou-based BBspace.cn and Hong Kong-based B2S.com both exited the Top 30 in this edition. eindiabusiness.com entered the Top 30 for the first time at #29. Other significant movers include BusyTrade which fell eight positions and ECVV.com which moved up five positions. Ninetowns’ Tootoo.com fell five places to #20 and BSG expects Tootoo.com to soon exit the Top 30 as earlier this month, Ninetowns announced that it would close down Tootoo.com.
- The ranking continues to be dominated by sourcing websites which typically generate revenues by charging suppliers to list their products online. Although it is not clear if some of the smaller sourcing platforms charge suppliers anything to list their product profiles. These smaller sites may list company and product details for free and simply charge for banner advertising. It is also worth noting that some of the sourcing platforms are transitioning to a fee structure that allows suppliers to bid for keywords used by buyers in online searches. In total, there are 19 general sourcing platforms and an additional five vertical industry sourcing sites. There are another five trade publications which typically generate revenues by selling banner ads or by charging for premium content and subscriptions.
- Amongst the B2B online business publishers, the most significant in terms of traffic are ITmedia.co.jp (#5), a Japanese media company targeting IT professionals and ChinaByte (#7), the partner of TechTarget in China. ChinaByte is focused on targeting technology professionals in China.
- The vertical industry sites are completely dominated by Hangzhou-based Zhejiang Netsun which owns all five of the vertical industry websites in BSG’s Top 30. They are Toocle.com, Chemnet.com.cn, Pharmnet.com.cn, Efu.com.cn and Texnet.com.cn. Netsun’s revenues continue to grow, but remain comparatively small at US$15 million.
- The key trends driving the B2B online media industry in Asia are:
-- An increased emphasis on new and emerging markets as a source of incremental growth
-- Closing down of smaller players as well as the disposal of non-core businesses
-- Evolving fee structures as companies experiment with alternative models such as “pay-per inquiry” and keyword bidding
-- Continued strong growth in the vertical industry sourcing segment.