New York, NY January 24, 2011 – Media industry executives are optimistic about the health of their markets coming out of the economic downturn, as 82% identified “organic growth” as the primary growth driver in the next 12 to 24 months, according to the first annual Media Growth Survey from The Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc. (http://www.jegi.com), a New York-based independent investment banking firm, and Econsultancy (http://econsultancy.com), a digital publishing, research and training company.

Following seismic shifts over the past few years, the media and information industry is focused on growth. As the North American economy rebounds, media executives are adapting for the future. From the smallest digital start-ups to the largest global corporations, companies are planning to launch new products and services, make acquisitions, expand market share, and enter new markets and geographic regions.

In the short term, companies of all sizes see organic growth as primary, largely through the expansion of share in existing markets. That is to be expected in a recovering economy, but organic growth takes a back seat to new product development, when viewed with a three to five year outlook.

Nearly half of all respondents expect to make an acquisition in the next 12 to 24 months, with 81% of executives from the largest corporations (those with over $250 million in revenue) expecting to make an acquisition in that time.

However, large companies don’t have a monopoly on M&A; more than half of the mid-sized organizations we sampled also plan to make an acquisition in the near-term. By comparison, divestures are an important but secondary consideration. In total, only 27% of companies see a divestiture in their near-term future, while 42% expect to make an acquisition.

Key Factors Now and in the Years Ahead

Media executives are focused on shifting industry trends and emerging factors that are gaining in importance, including:

* DATA – The wealth of data in the digital arena offers companies new opportunities to improve strategic analysis, target customers, and develop new products. However, for many organizations, taking advantage of such opportunities means evolving their business models, adopting a new set of technologies, and/or acquiring talent that is often difficult to find.
* DEVICES AND PLATFORMS – The proliferation of devices and platforms that audiences are using to access content is the second hottest trend in the short term and takes the top spot when publishers look out three to five years. For many, devising an effective approach to delivering content via mobile phones and tablets is a key to sustained growth.
* SOCIAL MEDIA – The social media phenomenon is notably absent from the growth plans of our respondents, yet they identify it as the third ranked trend today and one that is only expected to become more important in the coming years. Thus far, it appears that social media is viewed as a disruptor, without a clear path to a significant revenue stream.

To achieve growth, the industry has to overcome a few challenges. Large organizations see the continued emergence of small, digitally-focused companies with less expensive business models as potential obstacles to growth. Smaller companies embrace new technologies and methods as their advantage, but expect vigorous, well-funded competition from traditional players.

Internal obstacles to growth also vary significantly by revenue and size. Small companies face a lack of capital and credit for expansion. Their larger rivals point to a dearth of talent in emerging areas. They also mention how difficult it is to overcome the conflicting internal agendas and inflexible structures inherent in large organizations, especially in times of dramatic change.

Companies at every revenue level, however, expect to be spending on new product development in the coming years. It is the top capital expenditure for all but the largest companies, where it shares top billing with funding for acquisitions. Attracting new talent and talent development are also important areas of investment.

Conclusion

The results of the Media Growth Survey point to an industry that is in the midst of ongoing change, but has turned a corner in understanding how to confront and take advantage of it. Respondents in similar-sized companies are fairly consistent in the opportunities and obstacles they identify, as well as in their views on growth and areas of investment. There are still pockets of uncertainty, such as how to take advantage of social media and how best to develop products for the digital age, but the industry anticipates growth coming from a variety of sources and is investing to maximize those revenue streams.

About The Media Growth Survey

The Media Growth Survey is based on two surveys conducted in Q4-2010 that received a total of nearly 500 qualified responses from top senior executives from across the media, information, marketing services and technology sectors. Respondent organizations are primarily based in North America, although Western Europe and specifically the United Kingdom are also significantly represented. Composition of respondents:

* COMPANY REVENUE SIZE: 65% of respondents were from companies with less than $50 million in revenue; 26% were from companies with revenue between $50 million and $1 billion; and 9% were from companies with more than $1 billion in revenue.
* TYPE OF COMPANY: 44% of respondents were from companies in the B2B and B2C media sectors; 14% classified their companies as online media and technology; 13% as marketing services and technology companies; 8% as database and business information companies; and 6% as software and technology companies. The balance was exhibition and conference companies, mobile media and technology companies, and a mix of “Other” companies.
* TITLE OF RESPONDENTS: 85% of respondents are c-level executives – 74% of respondents are Chairman, CEO or President of their organizations; and 11% are CFOs or COOs.

To review the complete survey findings, visit http://ecly.co/hgUL6N.

About Econsultancy

Econsultancy is a digital publishing and training group that is used by more than 200,000 Internet professionals every month. The company publishes practical and timesaving research to help marketers make better decisions about the digital environment, build business cases, find the best suppliers, look smart in meetings and accelerate their careers. Econsultancy has offices in New York and London, and hosts more than 100 events every year in the US and UK. Many of the world's most famous brands use Econsultancy to educate and train their staff, including Google, Yahoo, Dell, BBC, BT, Shell, Vodafone, Virgin Atlantic, Barclays, Deloitte, T-Mobile and Estée Lauder. For more information, visit http://www.econsultancy.com.

About JEGI

The Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc. (JEGI) of New York, NY is the leading independent investment bank for the media, information, marketing services and technology sectors. Since 1987, JEGI has completed more than 500 high-profile M&A transactions for global corporations; middle-market and emerging companies; entrepreneurial owners; and private equity and venture capital funds. For more information, visit http://jegi.com or contact Adam Gross, Chief Marketing Officer at 212-754-0710 or adamg@jegi.com.

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Published on: 5:00PM on 24th January 2011