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The 2009 Honomichl Top 50 Report

The Honomichl Top 50, published by the American Marketing Association magazine, Marketing News, is out. The headline is that America’s top 50 research firms saw domestic revenues fall 3.5% to $8.61bn in 2009. This compares with a 1.6% increase to $8.98bn in 2008. 2009 non-US research revenue at $9.47bn represented 52.4% of the total generated, and was also down on the figure two years earlier ($9.81bn).

The bad news: Revenue at Bellomy Research plummeted 25.7% to $12.4m, while at Harris Interactive – pending the effect of a series of recovery initiatives – revenue dropped 24.0% to $100.1m. Burke Inc. also saw a 23.4% decline in revenue to $38.9m.

The good news: high revenue growth was seen at online customer community developer Communispace (up 18.0% to $34.7m), and multi-screen measurement specialist Rentrak (up 22% to $14.4m), which yesterday reported a 91% drop in fourth-quarter profit.

What jumps out at me is that growth occurred in non-traditional and syndicated product suppliers. That should be a strong signal to the industry about the direction we should head in, right?

US revenue for the top 10 US agencies was:

US Rank Organization US Research Revenues($ millions) % change from 2008
1 Nielsen 2,298.0 3.0
2 Kantar 850.9 -10.4
3 IMS Health 801.1 -5.9
4 Westat 502.4 7.0
5 SymphonyIRI Group 441.7 -0.7
6 Arbitron 379.1 4.0
7 Ipsos 288.8 -7.3
8 GfK USA 288.5 -11.7
9 Synovate 214.5 -12.4
10 J.D. Power and Associates 164.4 -13.7

Rate of growth from year to year has been adjusted so as not to include revenue gains or losses from acquisitions or divestitures

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4 responses to “The 2009 Honomichl Top 50 Report

  1. Why are we calling it the Top 50 when the AMA magazine only publishes the top 25 and this article only lists the top 10? Where are those lower 25 companies listed? Please advise. I am an AMA Member. Just not finding the right information.

    1. The report, which can be downloaded from the AMA site, lists all 50 Anna, and offers additional profiles of the firms and an overview of the state of the industry.

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