Electronics Industry Update (EIU Magazine) has teamed up with Mouser Electronics in Europe in a sponsorship deal that sees the magazine (and the Android and iOS apps) renamed as Mouser’s EIU Europe, starting in September 2016. The move will dramatically increase circulation as Mouser adding their database of people who have requested updates from the distributor – around 100K names – to the title’s circulation. After deduping, Black Dot, publishers of EIU, expect the circulation of the magazine to be around 150K, and the 80K users of the apps should bring total circulation beyond 200K.

EIU is a digital title, but we are promised a print edition for electronica, which Mouser will be distributing in their “goody bags” at the show.

Although Mouser will obviously influence the content, we were pleased to hear Donal McDonald, publisher of EIU, tell us that, “Mouser were emphatic that they didn’t want just their own content as they felt that wouldn’t bring full value to their customers.” In reality this means that the magazine will be able to cover manufacturers who are not Mouser lines. Unsurprisingly, there won’t be any space for other distributors in the title.

As the content won’t be directly driven by Mouser, there are still opportunities to contribute editorially, and the title will continue to offer the same advertising opportunities.

I think this idea is fascinating. With Arrow on the acquisition trail, buying up publications, particularly in the USA, it’s not surprising that one of the other distributors has reacted. I think the real question will be whether the sponsorship model is seen as more credible by the readers: given the amount of money they have spent, I think it’s going to be harder and harder for Arrow to keep their publications independent. Although Arrow is claiming that the publishing business is somewhat separate from their distribution business, it’s probably inevitable that the distribution side of the company is paying at least part of the editorial teams’ salaries.

Will the approach taken by Mouser and EUI Magazine be any different? I think it will, as although Mouser have a significant amount of influence over the title, they are clearly separate business, which should ensure greater editorial independence. The big question is whether readers will see this as significantly better quality.