David Blecken
Sep 2, 2014

Nikkei forms partnership with Monocle to raise profile outside Japan

GLOBAL – Japanese media conglomerate Nikkei has acquired a stake in London-based global affairs and design magazine Monocle with a view to enhancing the international presence of its products.

Brûlé: Monocle stands to benefit in terms of distribution, advertising and editorial capabilities
Brûlé: Monocle stands to benefit in terms of distribution, advertising and editorial capabilities

At the same time, Monocle hopes to benefit from stronger distribution in the Japanese market, as well as drawing on Nikkei’s wide editorial reach to broaden the scope of its coverage. According to a statement from Monocle, the alliance with Nikkei means Monocle is now worth more than US$100 million. Nikkei's stake is 3 per cent. Explaining the rationale behind the investment, Tyler Brûlé (pictured), Monocle’s chairman and editor-in-chief told Campaign that "we believe there's a greater incentive to make a partnership work when there's a financial investment".

Monocle's statement points to a desire by Nikkei “to bring more of Japan to the world”. The company operates across a wide range of media platforms in addition to its flagship newspaper, which has a daily circulation of three million. A priority for Nikkei is making its English-language Nikkei Asian Review available to a wider audience. The magazine launched last year and is positioned as a publication that examines business and economic issues from an Asian perspective.

To grow their global presence, both companies will share international newsstand and subscription intelligence. Brûlé said that Monocle would be able to help give Nikkei a “fast track onto international newsstands”. “They want to be a more serious newsstand player and this is one of the key areas we will be helping them with,” he said, noting that the magazines would appear side-by-side.

In the statement, Tsuneo Kita, president and chief executive of Nikkei, said: “Monocle has grown rapidly to boast a core readership of thought leaders around the world and through this wide-ranging partnership, the Nikkei Group will be able to further boost its global reach.”

Brûlé added that even though Monocle had been present in Japan since its launch in 2007, achieving a strong spread across newsstands there remained a challenge that could only be overcome through a relationship with a domestic publisher.

In addition to improved distribution, he said Monocle would be likely to benefit in terms of advertising from Japan and editorially given Nikkei’s large network of bureaus. Brûlé said there were “many areas where we can work with Nikkei correspondents to strengthen our coverage in various regions while supporting the Nikkei Asian Review via Monocle’s established distribution networks”.

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