The fact that Reed Electronics Group would like to increase their European readership in countries such as Germany and France is not a big secret (all magazines want more readership!). EDN Europe has recently announced that in October and November the copies of magazine distributed in Germany will have an additional German-language section. Presumably the fact that there is extra content for the German readers is some kind of compensation for forcing them to read the magazine in a second language for so long. Wolfgang Patelay – the well respected editor who used to edit Electronic Embedded Systeme – will combine translated EDN articles (“selected for their suitability for the German market”) as well as creating unique German content. We understand that the re-purposed content will primarily be made of design ideas and content from the Pulse section of EDN.

This move is a strengthening of EDN’s German language services, extending the existing strategy of providing a newsletter and online content in German.

Germany is an interesting market. Although it attracts the largest electronics ad spend of any European country, the competition is frightening, with more titles addressing this market than any other country. Interestingly even EDN Europe shows their German section as being the most expensive way of addressing the German market (in terms of cost per thousand readers). They also claim that “Germany has a higher % of ‘Techie’ engineer stereotypes than any other major market in Europe”, which presumably they believe is the ideal audience for EDN’s content, although there are several German titles that provide excellent technical content.

At Napier, we see this as an interesting move. Although, given the weak market, any launch is brave, this move is really only an experiment. REG has only committed to German supplements in October and November (although rumour has it that they have already secured ad bookings for December).

Will it work? A huge downside of the supplement approach is that companies will now need to buy a page in the full circulation in English, and then an EXTRA page in German for the supplement, although it does have obvious revenue benefits for Reed if people do go for the supplement! Still we think that the approach will work because of the strength of the Reed sales network. With some companies moving advertising decisions to the US from Europe, it’s likely that the best/largest US sales teams will secure more bookings as European advertising decisions get influenced by convenience. Finally with the “relaxed” German approach to circulation audits, US-based decision-makers will also tend to prefer the EDN Europe BPA audit. Neither of these factors will make for better campaigns (we strongly believe that European marketing managers can make much better advertising decisions than those based in the USA), but they will give EDN’s German supplement a huge advantage.