From their work with purpose-led start-up teams, BurdaPrincipal Investments have made some observations where social purpose provides start-ups with distinctive competitive advantages.
A reach of 45 million unique users and 33 million magazine readers per month make Hubert Burda Media one of the largest providers of journalistic content in Germany. In total, Burda media reach nearly 75 percent of the German population from the age of 16 upwards. With this outstanding market position as a foundation, Burda is set to expand its journalism-based operations sustainably, integrate its publishing units more tightly and pursue a concerted growth strategy across its ranges.
"We draw tremendous strength from those millions of relationships with people for whom we create genuine added value. We will pool our resources and coalesce into a large, powerful and agile platform that offers both content and technology."
Paul-Bernhard Kallen, CEO
Competences and growth areas have been defined for the group's publishing operations, and Burda will be strengthening these progressively – starting immediately.
A new publisher for a new era
To generate further growth with its core journalistic operations in Germany, the Group will be merging all of its German publishing activities into a new entity on January 1, 2021. This functionally structured company – BurdaVerlag – will include the publishing activities of BurdaStyle, BurdaNews, BurdaHome, BurdaLife and BurdaStudios, and become home to more than 160 print and digital media products on the German market.
"We are creating a 21st century publishing house that melds our journalistic expertise with the great strength of our brands, and takes the entrepreneurial steps needed to leverage growth opportunities in the German media market."
Philipp Welte, Management Board member
Building on the outstanding market positions of its journalistic brands and products, BurdaVerlag will seek to expand its existing operations, instrumentalizing new business models and innovative projects to tap fresh growth potential. From its launch on January 1st, Philipp Welte will be responsible for operations and head a joint board.
BurdaForward reinforces its position as a digital publisher
BurdaForward is also changing its structure and aligning its digital brands (e.g. Focus Online, Chip) even more closely to its subscribers and advertisers. The leading digital publisher will consistently focus on creating cross-functional teams that revolve exclusively around consumer needs. BurdaVerlag and BurdaForward will pursue different strategies when it comes to generating revenue. While the publishing organization's growth opportunities lie primarily in an integrated brand strategy, and hence in a more intensive exploitation of its contacts with individual consumers, BurdaForward is adhering to an innovative platform strategy with exceptional digital reach. BurdaForward successfully leverages this approach for highly diversified business models such as advertising, eCommerce and service fees.
In terms of their content and target groups, the high-penetration media Bunte Online, TV Spielfilm Online and Fit for Fun Online form the perfect complement for the existing portfolio at BurdaForward. The company will therefore be assuming responsibility for these brands from January 1, 2021; print editions will be managed by BurdaVerlag.
Oliver Eckert, who as CEO will have strategic and operational responsibility for BurdaForward with his leadership team: "The expansion of our range marks an important step towards cementing our position as one of Germany's leading digital publishers. Our aim is to continue interlinking our strong brands as the entry point for dependable information in Germany. Our focus is firmly trained on providing solution-oriented content that improves the lives of people in Germany."
Within the Management Board, responsibility for publishing operations will lie jointly with Paul-Bernhard Kallen (primary contact for BurdaForward) and Philipp Welte (primary contact for BurdaVerlag). In the future they will be providing one another with mutual support in the management of the two closely-connected publishing divisions.