B-to-B editorial expenses on the rise

The primary driver of editorial costs for any media enterprise is compensation. You have to pay your content creators. But how much should a business-to-business media company be paying its writers and editors?

ABM asks its members that question in its annual Managing Profits research, along with a lot of other detailed questions on expenses and revenue. And it turns out that print brands spend the most. They spend 34% of their total compensation budget on editorial compensation (salaries, bonuses, and benefits), representing 12% of total expenses for the brand.

Digital brands spend 26% of their total compensation budget on editorial salaries, representing 10% of total expenses.  Event brands spend 14% of their total compensation budget on editorial salaries, representing 4% of total expenses.

And when we look year over year, the ABM/MPA Compensation Study, conducted by Towers Watson, reveals that editorial salaries rose from 2011 to 2012. For eleven business-to-business editorial job titles, only one compensation package declined over the two year period, and that one fell only 4.2 percent. In contrast, five of the eleven rose by single-digit percentages, and another five rose by double-digit percentages. Only two of the job titles failed to outpace 2012’s 2.07% inflation rate.

That means more money in content creators’ pockets – but that’s okay by publishers, who saw total revenue increase over the same 2011-2012 time period by 4.4 percent.

By Michael Moran Alterio

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