Really bad news from the German electronics publishing sector today, with AT-Fachverlag shutting two core magazines: Elektronik Informationen and Photonik. The last issues have been published and they will be no more. The email we received didn’t mention the website, but this hasn’t been updated since the 2nd of November, so until we hear otherwise we’re assuming it’s ending too.
We have asked, but have not yet heard if its editorial, advertising and production staff, such as Sylvia Rathgeber will be redeployed or being made redundant. We hope the former and will update.
According to Schoene Norbert, an advertising manager at the publishing house, the magazines have been making a loss for some time, saying “we have already tried to lead ‘elektronik informationen’ as well as ‘photonik’ to a sustainable, positive economic development.”
The problem was only made worse with the pandemic, which has had a significant effect on advertising: “Unfortunately, we did not succeed in achieving the goals we had set ourselves, a situation that has been significantly exacerbated by the effects of the corona pandemic in recent months.”
A note on this. Earlier this year, for the PR Analysis agency PR-Evaluation.co.uk, I examined the effect of the pandemic on content creation and ad spend as well as on readership of B2B publications. What I found was that while ad revenue was drying up, readership of these publications was increasing (engineers at home with time on their hands) so even if ad budget wasn’t available, content creation was be a wise investment, be it through an agency or in house using staff that are no longer busy.
Certainly (and as I opined back in March) these magazines need good content that is worth reading. Advertisers rarely care about the magazines, they care about customers, and if publications repeat the mistakes of 2008 (let advertisers place articles that are sub standard out of desperation) then the advertisers will just go elsewhere.
If these magazines deliver a return on investment for you – support them or lose them.