Business Strategies Group Hong Kong (BSG) (a BIIA co-founder) has just released its latest report on B2B Online Media in Asia.
In terms of revenue generating activities there appear to be three major revenue sources: Sourcing support services; advertising and content sales / electronic distribution.
According to the BSG report approximately two thirds of the Top 30 Asian B2B websites generate the majority of their revenues through activities related to sourcing support services. These companies typically offer an online sourcing platform which provides manufacturer and product profiles to buyers looking to source from Asia. The key to these businesses is attracting and retaining high-quality suppliers and simultaneously attracting serious, high-quality, volume buyers. Increasingly the verification of supplier data is particularly important.
Advertising: The technology-focused trade titles and some of the online sourcing platforms offer banner advertising on their websites. Stand-alone advertising revenues for most Asian B2B websites are not substantial enough to cover the costs of operating a high-quality trade website. Paid search in China continues to grow and as BSG has noted in previous editions of their report, paid online search as a significant and continuing threat to the B2B advertising model.