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Open Password - Dienstag, den 5. Juli 2021

# 943
Outsell – Randy Giusto – IDG – Blackstone – China Oceanside – Oriental Rainbow – Tariffs on China – Triblio – Metri – TechTarget – Informa – Bombora – First-Party Data – Demandbase – IT Research Space – B2B Media and Business Information – Intent Data – Apple – Google – Privacy – Facebook - dpa - Nachrichtenagenturen - Corona - dpa-ID - Verrechnungsmodell - Rubix - Medienwandel - Faktencheck 21 - dpa factify - news aktuell - dpa-infocom - dpa Picture Alliance - Globle Kommunikation - Kai Hafez - Anne Grüne - UTB-Verlag


I.
Cover Story: The Multiple Paths of a Blackstone-Infused IDG

II.
Nachrichtenagenturen: Die dpa mitten im Transformationsprozess mit leichten Umsatz- und Gewinnzuwächsen

III.
Neu erschienen: Grundlagen der globalen Kommunikation


The Outsell Contribution July 2021

The Multiple Paths of a Blackstone-Infused IDG

By Randy Giusto, VP & L ead Analyst
Randy Giusto
Randy Giusto

The sale of IDG, Inc. to Blackstone helps to unblock access to cash that was constrained under previous owner China Oceanside. Blackstone will drive faster changes at both IDG Communications and IDC. Speculating about what drove the deal may shed light on what stays and what goes at IDG, Inc.
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What to Know and Why It Matters
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On June 4, private equity firm Blackstone announced the acquisition of IDG from Oriental Rainbow, a subsidiary of China Oceanside Holdings Group, for $1.3 billion plus any cash on hand. With new information surfacing from this deal, we now estimate IDG’s B2B Media and Business Information activity (IDG Communications) at $460 million in revenue for 2020. Coupled with our estimate of IDC 2020 revenue at $535 million, this puts the deal at around a 1.5x multiple based on revenue. It’s speculated that the combined IDG was throwing off $90 million in net profits, which would mean that Blackstone paid around a 16x multiple if based on this figure.

The deal ends the relationship between IDG and its previous Chinese owners. Under China Oceanside, IDG Communications continued its transition to a data company, but cash evaporated after the Trump administration’s tariffs on China went into effect. What at first looked like a pipeline of cash from China soon turned into a reverse situation — the tariffs impacted China Oceanside, which diverted cash away from IDG as the owner struggled itself.

In the four years under Chinese ownership, IDG, Inc. was only able to acquire two small companies: Triblio and its technology platform for IDG Communications; and recently, Metri and its pricing metrics for IDC. Meanwhile, the sector’s seen tremendous disruption in the core B2B media space as other players have built up data assets faster to differentiate themselves.

Blackstone always comes to its deals with an agenda that includes cost reductions to drive higher efficiencies, divestments of non-core assets, and a bankroll to fund both organic growth through product development and inorganic growth through new acquisitions.

This deal may change the competitive makeup and nature of IDG, Inc., especially the relationship between its two halves, which have always acted more like distant cousins than siblings under the same roof. We expect that Blackstone will drive one of two outcomes here, either forcing the two entities to get their acts together in terms of synergy and collaboration or having them go their separate ways.
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Analyst Rating: Positive
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Blackstone’s acquisition gets cash flowing again at IDG Inc., which is important for IDG Communications to compete in the technology media and marketing spaces against the likes of TechTarget, Informa, Bombora, and others influencing and selling to large tech brands. It’s also important for IDC, which could only grow organically (and slowly) over the past 10 years.
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Winners and Losers
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With data now representing the majority of IDG Communications’ revenue, and given new investment from Blackstone, Tech Target will have a much more invigorated competitor on its hands. Both companies run media organizations to drive their data offerings, and they’ll compete more aggressively now in media, data, marketing services, and workflow tools for marketers. Bombora will also see more competition from a Blackstone-infused IDG, especially if IDG Communications can pull together a strong intent data offering that pulls signal from its many publications.

With the eventual demise of the third-party cookie, first-party data — especially that held by publishers — is becoming even more valuable to marketers. This may lead some stronger B2B media players with access to cash to acquire more platform technology to build their own walled gardens of audience engagement, measurement, intent signals, and workflow tools for marketers. Doing this will put pressure on digitally born B2B sales and marketing intelligence players like Bombora and Demandbase.
Until recently, these players stayed out of owning their own data, instead serving as conduits for other B2B data sources. IDG and Informa could go down the same path that J2 Global, Zonda, and others have followed in order to take more technology marketer share of wallet from B2B MarTech players.
In the IT research space, this move shores up IDC and puts more pressure on smaller players struggling to grab share and reestablish a middle tier to this market that collapsed years ago. This includes Informa’s Omdia, part of its Informa Tech business; the 451 Research business now part of S&P Global (a parent now distracted by its own IHS Markit deal); InfoTech Research; and Datatec. IDC’s vendor and market sizing focus keeps it clear of Gartner and Forrester. In effect, everyone else now gets stuck between the big three in IT Research
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What’s Next
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Speculating on the nature of the deal and its draw for Blackstone leads to several scenarios describing what might happen next.

If IDG Communications is the draw, look for Blackstone to enhance its media, data, and services offerings. The organization is already efficient, having centralized finance, marketing, sales, international operations, its tech stack, and even its media businesses that once competed for resources.

IDG is no longer a decentralized collection of country-level P&Ls; only sales offices remain in most countries. Blackstone could sell the consumer publications, like Macworld, PCWorld, TechHive, and others, since they’re not core to an integrated B2B media and marketing strategy. It could also sell IDC after making it more efficient, especially if no real synergies arise. Blackstone could then pursue a roll-up strategy and buy small B2B data and workflow tool providers to gain talent, tech, customers, and tools. Acquiring Bombora to get non-IDG-branded intent data signals to feed IDG’s lead gen engine would make for an interesting combination.

If IDC is the draw, then Blackstone could make it more efficient, invest more in product development, make small tuck-in acquisitions, and create more linkages between it and IDG Communications. If those linkages really aren’t there, then IDG Communications is the odd one out here. Blackstone could create a stripped-down version of it that converts the media properties to newsletters, which are more efficient, running it as a pure lead gen and intent data business. It could then acquire a player like G2 and build a Gartner-like model: part research, review sites, user tools, and intent data.
If both parts are the draw, Blackstone could make IDC more efficient, refocus IDG Communications around B2B, and divest the consumer parts. It could then spend to acquire more companies to roll into both, focusing on those with advanced data capabilities.

Outsell will be watching for signs of each of these scenarios playing out closely. Few firms have the track record of success of Blackstone, so if there’s anything to expect, it is positive change.
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Essential Actions
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Blackstone’s acquisition of IDG, Inc. changes the competitive landscape of B2B Media and Business Information and possibly IT Research, depending on the path the company takes next. For other players in B2B media, there are several actions to consider.

Invest in First-Party Data. This sounds simpler than it is. Many organizations took the time during the pandemic to get their data into better shape, and those that didn’t will find themselves at a real competitive disadvantage as the economy improves. Quickly start data quality programs now, and set a timeline with an agile approach that delivers results this year — not next year, when it’s too late. Companies that avoid this for another year do so at their own peril and might end up in distressed asset sales for PEs and bigger players to buy cheaply.

Acquire to Build an Intent Data Solution. Intent signals are the name of the game in B2B marketing and sales. Marketing teams need top-of-funnel leads to build pipeline for sales. Sales needs verified and qualified middle- and bottom-of-funnel leads to close business. Leads infused with intent data are more valuable to sales because those people represent active buyers. It’s difficult to build an intent data platform from scratch — IDG ended up buying Triblio to become its data platform. Seek out small intent data providers that have hit a growth wall and are looking to sell to a new parent that can take them to another level.

Don’t Waste Time. The changes that Apple and Google are making when it comes to privacy, cookies, and tracking in general, in addition to pressure from governments around the world, will all have a profound impact on the business of AdTech and B2B marketing and sales. For years, AdTech companies boasted that people don’t care about privacy, and their day of reckoning has now arrived.
Apple is blocking IP and email tracking in its new operating systems as it goes all-in on privacy to block surveillance run amok. Google is moving away from the cookie by late 2023, and Facebook is stuck between a rock and hard place because it’s only an advertising business.

Companies need to invest in their first-party data, build purchase intent signals to use internally for their own sales and marketing efforts, and perhaps spin those signals into new offerings for marketing customers. They must not waste time doing any of this — time doesn’t wait for anyone, and it isn’t kind.

About Outsell: Outsell is the leading research and advisory firm serving executives operating in the data, information, and analytics economy. Our solutions leverage proprietary data, leading industry analysts, thriving peer-to-peer communities, and a network of partner SMEs, all operating in a platform ecosystem. Through deep relationships, we ensure that our clients make smart decisions about their strategy, competition, markets, operating best practices, and M&A. We stand by our work 100%, guarantee results, and are fanatical about our clients’ success. www.outsellinc.com contact_us@outsellinc.com
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Nachrichtenagenturen

Die dpa mitten im Transformationsprozess
mit leichten Umsatz- und Gewinnzuwächsen

(dpa) Deutschlands größte Nachrichtenagentur dpa hat das Geschäftsjahr 2020 erfolgreich abgeschlossen. In einem coronabedingt schwierigen Marktumfeld ist es der Kerngesellschaft Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH gelungen, den Umsatz auf 93,9 Millionen Euro zu steigern (2019: 93,0 Millionen). Der Gewinn beträgt 1,6 Millionen Euro (2019: 1,3 Millionen). Auch die dpa-Unternehmensgruppe mit ihren Töchtern und Beteiligungen weist für 2020 eine positive Entwicklung auf. Der Konzernumsatz wuchs demnach auf 143,9 Millionen Euro (2019: 142,5 Millionen).

Im Mittelpunkt der strategischen Aktivitäten der Agentur stand der Ausbau des dpa-Marktplatzes und die zunehmende Verbreitung der dpa-ID. Agentur und Kunden sind in diesem Prozess stetig enger zusammengerückt. Die dpa investiert im Rahmen ihrer Marktplatzstrategie intensiv in die Bereiche Vernetzung, Kooperationen und Dateninformiertheit als die wesentlichen Treiber der digitalen Transformation. Bereits rund 17000 Medienschaffende und Kommunikationsfachleute nutzen mittlerweile die übergreifende dpa-ID, um mit den Services der Agentur und ihrer Partnerunternehmen zu arbeiten.

Der dpa ist es im abgelaufenen Geschäftsjahr gelungen, den Medienwandel in ihrem neuen zeitgemäßen Preismodell abzubilden und ein erfolgreiches Verrechnungsmodell für digitale Reichweiten aufzubauen. Der Kundenkreis, der dieses Modell in Anspruch nimmt, wächst stetig. Damit passt sich die Agentur der fortschreitenden Transformation auf Seiten der Kunden an, deren digitale Erlöse einen immer größeren Anteil am Gesamtgeschäft einnehmen.

Dazu Chefredakteur Sven Gösmann: "Wir haben Innovationsprojekte auf den Weg gebracht. Dazu zählen unsere neuen Podcast-Angebote für Spotify und OMS oder der dpa-Audio Hub, unser neues Audioarchiv für die Kunden. Und wir haben mit der Integration von TeleNewsNetwork als Video-Unit der dpa unser Angebot mit TV-fähigem Bewegtbild komplettiert."

Wesentliche Aufmerksamkeit richtet die Agentur auf die Entwicklung ihrer neuen multimedialen und modular aufgebauten Produktionsplattform Rubix. Mit ihrer Hilfe können neue Produkte hergestellt, miteinander vernetzt und an andere Systeme angebunden werden. Rubix, dessen Prototyp im Herbst starten soll, ermöglicht die Kollaboration der dpa-Journalistinnen und -Journalisten und stellt dateninformiertes Arbeiten sowie die schnellere Auslieferung von Produkten sicher.

Die Deutsche Presse-Agentur sieht sich in ihrer gesamtgesellschaftlichen Verantwortung aufgerufen, einen starken Beitrag zur Eindämmung von Falschinformationen zu leisten. So hat die Agentur ihre Faktencheck- und Verifikations-Teams ausgebaut. Mittlerweile werden Faktenchecks in sechs europäischen Ländern produziert (Deutschland, Österreich, Schweiz, Niederlande, Belgien und Luxemburg). Außerdem gibt die Agentur ihr Know-how im Rahmen des Projekts "Faktencheck 21" an Journalistinnen und Journalisten aus zahlreichen Medienhäusern weiter und hat mit "dpa factify" eine eigene Schulungs-Datenbank aufgesetzt.

Einen wesentlichen Beitrag zum Erfolg der dpa-Gruppe haben erneut die Tochtergesellschaften und Beteiligungen geleistet. So konnte die news aktuell GmbH mit ihren Services für PR und Kommunikation ihren Umsatz auch in Corona-Zeiten spürbar steigern. Auch die Digitaltochter dpa-infocom GmbH hat ihre positive Entwicklung bestätigt und erneut einen höheren Umsatz zum Gesamterfolg der Gruppe beigesteuert. Stabil abgeschlossen hat außerdem die Bildtochter dpa Picture-Alliance GmbH, die trotz coronabedingter Umsatzausfälle aufgrund von abgesagten Sportgroßereignissen und Kulturveranstaltungen auf ein insgesamt gutes Geschäftsjahr zurückblicken kann.

Der Geschäftsbericht 2020 trägt den Titel "Transformation. dpa im Wandel". Im Mittelpunkt des Berichts steht der hohe Veränderungsdruck, den die Pandemie auf die Beschäftigten von Deutschlands größter Nachrichtenagentur ausübt. Der Change-Prozess der vergangenen Monate kann aber auch als Chance begriffen werden, frischen Gedanken und Plänen freie Bahn zu verschaffen. Zum Beispiel bei Innovationen, bei Workflows oder auch im Kundendialog.


Neu erschienen

Grundlagen der globalen Kommunikation

(UTB) Neu erschienen: Kai Hafez und Anne Grüne, Grundlagen der globalen Kommunikation - Medien – Systeme – Lebenswelten – UTB-Verlag

(UTB) Globalisierung ist eine zentrale Vision unserer Zeit. Globale Kommunikation ist aber Weltbeobachtung und des Dialogs wechselwirken und Instabilität erzeugen. Ihre globale Vermittlungsfunktion erfüllen Politik, Wirtschaft und Medien noch nicht verlässlich. Menschen und Gesellschaften schwanken zwischen Vernetzung zu einer Weltgemeinschaft und nationaler Abschottung bis hin zu rassistischer Abwehr. Das Handbuch bietet die erste Gesamtübersicht aller wesentlichen Felder der globalen Kommunikation in organisierten Sozialsystemen (Massenmedien, Politik, Wirtschaft, Zivilgesellschaft) und Lebenswelten (Netzgemeinschaften, Kleingruppen, Individuum) auf einer einheitlichen und interdisziplinären theoretischen Basis.

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