After the decision by EE Times Group (formerly TechInsights) to hold on to ESD Europe, rather than include it in the recent sale of EE Times Europe and Microwave Engineering Europe, I was disappointed to see the recent decision to move to all-digital distribution and cut frequency. Initially a 10-issue 2010 editorial calendar was produced, then an announcement was posted on and a new media pack issued telling of the change of strategy.

The European website has been closed, with all content integrated into Although I can see the logic of this move it’s disappointing that European visitors to the site will have to search for local content rather than the site using geo-targeting to highlight European stories along with the global content, nor is the site offering a URL with a European-orientated feed of news. I’m told we can expect this to be added in the future.

The magazine has also switched from 10 issues to 5 issues in 2010, with entirely digital circulation, although I’m told that the editorial content will be specific to the European edition with minimal re-use of material from the US ESD. The layout will be changed completely, moving to a screen-optimised format on the Nxtbook platform similar to recent EE Times special editions. The layout is nice – similar to ED Europe in some ways, but offering full page adverts as well as leaderboard and MPU fractional ads. It’s great to see a publisher recognise the need to optimise the layout for the readers, whilst allowing advertisers to use familiar formats with high visual impact. We’re also promised special editions, which will be driven by sponsors.

The digital magazine circulation is a little confusing. The new media pack promises:

The digital issue goes to over 100,000 subscribers and will be seen by over 50,000 European web users.

25,000 ESD global digital subscribers via email link.
30,000 ESD Europe subscribers via email link.
50,000 EETimes and TechOnline European subscribers via email link.
50,000 unique European visitors to every month.

So in addition to the European subscribers, anyone currently receiving the digital version of the US title who is based outside of Europe and the US will get ESD Europe – i.e. they’ll get both the US and European digital issues. The EE Times and TechOnline European database will also be used to deliver unrequested copies, and there will be links to the digital title on

So what circulation should we assume for the title? To me the circulation we can be sure is really valuable are just the 30K requested European subscribers. Although there may be other high-quality recipients, at this stage they’ve not requested the title and it remains to be seen whether the move to a large headline circulation is clever move, or whether it will just dilute the quality of the existing ESD Europe database.

ESD Europe has also quietly slipped in a rate increase (full page rates were $2100 last year, and are now $3000: an increase of about 40%). The extra circulation might go some way to justifying this increase, and there are no surcharges for flash or video adverts, but most advertisers I know value digital magazine less highly than print.

The European Embedded email newsletters will increase in frequency, appearing twice a week, which will hopefully increase loyalty to the brand, as well as ensuring the database is well maintained.

It will be interesting to see the success of the new publication. In merging ESDE and ESE, It’s not clear to me why there is value in circulating a European title outside of Europe, but if the format is as good as the EE Times specials, and with Colin Holland remaining in the role of Editor in Chief, I believe that the quality of the editorial and the easy-to-read layout will ensure good readership. From the advertising viewpoint, TechInsights acquired a significant number of UK-orientated advertisers who presumably will be unenthusiastic about the broader reach of the title, and may choose other UK, whilst global advertisers might question why they need to advertise in both the US and European brands to reach people outside of these two geographies. As a believer in the eventual move of most magazines in our industry from print to digital, however, I’m hopeful that ESD Europe will be a successful title.