UBM’s Property Paywalls Boost Online Subs 85 Percent

B2B publisher United Business Media (LSE: UBM) has grown online subscription revenue by 85 percent in the last year, after introducing paywalls at its built environment category sites like Propertyweek.com and Building magazine.

Despite being a subscription-centric publisher in print, UBM takes most of its online revenue from advertising. Online advertising also grew by 31 percent.

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Buying the Canon B2B publisher and Routes aviation events business has doubled the rate at which United Business Media’s online income is growing. UBM’s half-year online revenue has grown by 35 percent since last year, but would have grown by 19 percent without the additions.

It turned UBM’s half-year from last year’s £500,000 ($815882.82) loss to a £700,000 ($1142235.95) operating profit.

But print at UBM, led by CEO David Levin (pictured), is the only medium in decline because UBM sold 12 magazines, closed 10 and is managing natural print erosion.

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UBM says: “There is still a high degree of experimentation in the online environment. We monitor these trends closely in order to explore new revenue opportunities.” It invested £5 ($8.16) million in virtual events and nine “community-in-a-box” websites.

The group’s total profit after tax is up 12.5 percent to £5 ($8.16)5.8 million on 9.1 percent higher revenue of £474 ($773.46) million.