Surely engineers want to read in their local language? Perhaps this received wisdom is under challenge from a recent survey by MMG Publishing, which has driven them to drop the dual-language format of Electronics Sourcing Europe in favour of an entirely English publication.

Although the announcement was made last month, I’ve held back on covering the news until I was able to get more details about the survey (I’m going to be using Twitter for short news items in the future). MMG has been kind enough to share the key details of the survey:

  • 500 people interviewed
  • Sample taken from new subscribers for Nov 08 and Jan 09 issues
  • Only one person wanted to keep dual language format!
  • It has been said I can be pretty cynical, so I do wonder if the survey was done to justify a decision that MMG had already made, but these results are so extreme that you cannot ignore them. No survey bias would have pushed things that far. Of course it’s likely that a significant number of the respondents don’t speak German as a first language (about 2/3 of the sample assuming that the distribution is the same as the readership in the Electronics Sourcing media pack). Additionally people that read pan-European titles are generally a self-selecting group that are more open to reading in English than the buyer population as a whole. Finally I could question whether it is the dual-language format that doesn’t work, rather than local language.

    BUT just look at the issue dates used! electronica must have been a key source for subscribers, and would presumably have had a bias towards German readers. I’m still not convinced that local magazines will die out to be replaced by the pan-European English language titles, but I’m fascinated to see a study that highlights how many people are prepared to access their information in English.