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EDA Media Industry at the CrossRoads

Have you read Lou Covey’s recent blog on the major changes occurring in the world of EDA media coverage? (http://commbasics.typepad.com/my_weblog) While I disagree with Lou’s calculation that there are only 2.25 EDA journalists left after CMP’s layoffs, I do agree with the rest of his observations (sans his bravado about “being right?).

The EDA media industry is certainly in flux. It’s not dead. In fact, it just became a wee bit more lucrative for “us? few remaining publishers. But it is becoming a low-growth market, especially with Mentor’s acquisition of Sierra (see my blog from last week). This is just one of the reasons why the big EDA equity houses – Blackstone and KKR – have explicitly pulled out of the EDA market (thanks, Pallab). Add to this the ongoing media cuts (CMP now, Penton later – IMHO) and the exodus of EDA journalist talent into other fields outside of publishing, and you have some real fundamental changes taking place.

But such changes can bring opportunities. That’s why – even though I’ll continue to cover the EDA space – I’m expanding my coverage in Chip Design magazine to include the larger world of semiconductors. Other publishing properties under my care already cover the embedded (North American and Asian) markets, vertical electronics markets and, most recently, the world of customized chip research/analysis.

Just one more observation in closing; the media buying practice that Lou cite, i.e., “not advertising and relying on press coverage for awareness,? has resulted in a big decrease in genuinely meaningful editorial product coverage. I’ve noticed that this media practice has been increasing for the last few years in both the chip and embedded publishing worlds. As a consequence, I’ve become extremely cautious in allowing any of my editors to write about specific EDA tool or embedded HW-SW products. This lack of real coverage will leave many vendors at the mercy of user group websites and various on-line discussion threads for analysis of their latest products. Not a very pleasant perspective for the vendors. But that’s what happens when you replace advertising sponsorships with press releases.

– John

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