Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Arrival of the German "Huff"

The Huffington Post, an American news site, has decided to put up a German Huffington-style Post.

The Germans over the past decade, have kinda had an opportunity to avoid these political-style web sites, with confrontational-style attitudes.  They watched from the sidelines and were probably happy that nothing came to challenge their standard newspaper-led news atmosphere.  Course, German newspapers have been slowly losing readership over the past decade.

Anxiety in Germany over this?  To some degree.

There's some fears over how this might hurt readership of German newspapers even more.  There's fears over profitability of German news.  There are probably fears over content and how things might become more confrontational (like US politics), and Germans would really prefer not to have this type of atmosphere.

Right now, statistics show (BDZV numbers) that around 19 million copies of  newspapers are sold in Germany on a daily basis.  If you consider a population of 80 million folks in Germany.....it's still a fair number....but it's five million less than a decade ago.

The "Huff" tends to pick political topics and lays out a strategy to get people addicted to the discussion and argue.  The more, the better.

What happens with this mess?  In a year or two.....some people will note that the SPD and Green Party are getting better than average coverage with the German "Huff", and the CDU/CSU folks will start to discuss a necessary add to the situation.  I would hate to suggest Fox News coming to Germany....but we might see a Drudge-like vehicle or something similar.

Is it possible that Germans will just skip the German "Huff"?  So far, Facebook and Google have gotten themselves a fair amount of negative news coverage.  Germans are generally skeptical about their intentions.  The German "Huff" might fall into the same pit in six months with limited readership.

I'm guessing that they have enough cash to last out twelve months before getting real sponsorship or ad's to cover costs.  There's going to be pressure put on German companies to consider sponsoring the "Huff", which they may just decline and walk away from political intrigue.

Bottom line?  If I were a betting person, I'd say that this new German "Huff" comes around and lasts for about four years....then folds up and is sold off to be downsized.  Germans are awful stubborn, and they just might not pay much attention to what Huff says.  In this case, the three little pigs might outlast the wolf 'huffing-up' outside....only because they were German pigs.    

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