I was really sad to see the news that Advantage Business Marketing has closed. Although this news has yet to be confirmed, the lack of a response from Advantage Business Marketing (ABM) suggest that unfortunately the publisher is closing and with it ECN may disappear. Of course there is still a chance that ECN could be acquired from the ashes of ABM, although now that Arrow has stopped its acquisition frenzy we don’t seem to be overloaded with too many organisations looking to buy an electronics publication.

I would like to relate the situation directly to the electronics market, but in this case, I don’t think I can. Although ECN was a major part of ABM, it probably wasn’t dominant enough to cause the failure of what was a substantial organisation. In fact, ABM position ECN as just one of the “five pillars” – the five publications on which the business had been built.

It does leave some worrying questions about the American electronics publications that remain standing. Can they survive? Will niche B2B publishing even survive in the US?

The good news is that some publishers are still more than confident about the future and may even see a smaller field of titles as an opportunity to grow market share. In fact, Julia Stocks, one of the owners of Power Systems Design seemed even more optimistic than ever about PSD’s future when we emailed about the closure of ABM.

Let’s hope that this is an isolated event. With much of the ownership of electronics media in the USA concentrated in the hands of Arrow, we don’t want to see an oligopoly form as competitors shut down. The result of a concentration of media ownership is rarely good,  and competition is something that everyone should welcome as a way to force the electronics media to become even better than it is today.