German media giant Axel Springer announced this week that they have purchased a 60% stake in Paris-based media startup My Little Paris, via their French subsidiary AuFeminin (which they purchased in 2007), a leading female-oriented media with presence in Europe, North America & North Africa. MyLittleParis manages a variety of “My Little” properties aimed at women – from flash sales on wine to app recommendations,and work with leading brands looking to engage My Little Paris’ readership (more than 1 Million subscribers).
The acquisition by AuFeminin is quite a logical move – MyLittleParis has been building up a nearly cult following with their 3 weekly recommendations to readers in various categories. AuFeminin has been positioning itself as a leader amongst Women in the past few years, and while their variety of traditional brands are bringing in millions of viewers per month, they will need to stay in front of their audience if they want to maintain their status as Maitresse of media.
For those following Axel Springer these past few years, such an acquisition comes as no big surprise. The media powerhouse has acquired one company per month since 2006 in an effort to switch from its traditional print business to an international, digitally-dominant media business. In addition to various media acquisitions, they have also made headlines earlier this year when they announced they would sell off their stake in several regional newspapers in Germany, a move many in the print indusry called ‘heartless,’ despite the inevitability of the move, given their very public company shift.
In France, Axel Springer may be seeing an inrease in activity, as competitor Schibsted, which runs classified listings site LeBonCoin, seems to making a move in the French market, having invested €10 Million in peer-to-peer lending platform Pret d’Union earlier this month.
For anyone who said that media wasn’t profiable, it seems that players like My Little Paris, who have a clear market segment business model, and dominance, are disproving the model. Nothing left to say but: expect more media online pure players to emerge, converge, diverge, and evolve within the media landscape in the coming years.