Meedia: A Start-up Attitude at a New Location

By Franziska Schulze

The media magazine Meedia is changing its look. With the relaunch of its new website, a weekly journal, and extended topics for reporting, the magazine is looking to transform itself and make its mark on the media stage. Editor-in-chief Matthias Oden explains in an interview his vision for the hebdomadal and how in 2020 it is not daring, but rather promising, for the journal to go print. He then goes on to explain the decision to move the editorial department to Munich and what this means for the magazine.

Since April 2020: The weekly Meedia Journal.

It says on the Meedia website that the magazine will once again become a startup. Could you tell us what makes it a startup?

Matthias Oden: I would say our magazine has taken on the title of startup thanks to our willingness to change. If you start working at our company, you won’t need to deal with deep-rooted procedures and structures, because they have never really existed at Meedia. For example, we’re now publishing a weekly print journal, which is completely new for us. This required us to set up new processes and tweak them along the way once they were put into practice. Our team members therefore need a certain “hands-on” attitude and the willingness to create something new.

With the relaunch, Meedia is looking to gain a larger foothold. Why?

Oden: We have decided to expand our spectrum and include reports about brands and agencies. Media coverage alone does not describe the industry as a whole. We take on a business journalistic approach and regard media as a company. From this point of view, reporting on advertisers and the creative industry is almost a given. At a time when various media platforms are considered to be their own brand and brands become media in return, this makes even more sense. It also makes perfect sense, from a marketing point of view, to combine these sub-sectors.

Matthias Oden. Photo: Jürgen Altmann

Isn't it risky to publish a print magazine in 2020? Especially when there are already magazines that cover these topics, such as Werben & Verkaufen and Horizont? What is Meedia looking to do to stand out?

Oden: We focus on long texts between 8,000 to 20,000 characters that profoundly analyze the topic at hand. We see this as an asset and something that distinguishes us from the rest. Our news section is quite small, and we do not write any trend reports or how-to articles. Instead, we concentrate on company analyses and examples of best practices to demonstrate how problems can be solved. Though we observe the industry from a critical point of view, we also think it is important to convey a positive spirit. Even if budgets are shrinking and challenges are growing, not all current developments need to be seen negatively. The pandemic is hitting the industry extremely hard; we cannot and do not want to deny that. Yet there is still enough to give us hope for the future. 

Who is Meedia’s target group?

Oden: We tend to address decision makers, though not exclusively. Our online offers are especially aimed at a much larger target group–marketing and media experts of every kind.

Since early 2019, Meedia has been part of the media and technology company Busch & Glatz. This also includes the publications Blickpunkt Film, MusikWoche and GamesMarkt. What synergistic effects are there?

Oden: Our content can sometimes resemble that of Blickpunkt Film. However, the two editorial teams work separately. This synergism can instead be seen in the magazine’s production itself, such as through printing or purchasing program licenses. Meedia is proud to champion Busch & Glatz’s slogan “Making Creatives Successful.”

You are responsible for the content. How does your work complement the work of Meedia’s marketing manager Susanne Hübner?

Oden: Our collaboration is really characterized by the fact that we have worked together from day one on shaping our brand and developing the magazine. Our editorial offers are also in line with their marketing prospects. Furthermore, our data management is one of Meedia’s USP, which is why we have included an extended Business Intelligence section in our magazine. So, every week we print off a ten-page report that summarizes the evaluations made by IVW and Agof of various social media platforms. We are convinced that that this is good content both editorially and from a marketing point of view.

Relaunching a new magazine in times of Corona is not an easy thing to do. How do you currently work under such conditions?

Oden: It is very difficult, since we are now all working remotely. We are familiar with decentralized collaboration—our editorial department is not only located in Munich, but also in Hamburg, Düsseldorf, and Cologne—so we didn't have to introduce new tools. However, a lot of coordination is required when you’re trying to set up a new process. Doing this all virtually is exhausting and can sometimes lead to misunderstandings.

How big is the team?

Oden: When I started at Meedia in November, there were four editors, and Susanne Hübner was the only one responsible for marketing. Now our editing department is up to a staff of fourteen and we have four other colleagues in the sales department. However, we would like to grow even more, if the Corona crisis allows it.

Why did you choose Munich as your location?

Oden: There are several big media cities in Germany. Munich is one of them, though it is wrongly overshadowed by Hamburg, for example. Munich boasts a plethora of large media companies, advertising companies, and agencies. Our other magazines are also already located here, which makes collaboration easier.