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Foreign Media Companies on Russia’s Print Media Market in 1987−2014: Developmental Tendencies

Научные исследования: 


For citation: Zakharova M.V., Kiseleva E.B. (2016) Zarubezhnyy mediakapital na rossiyskom pechatnom rynke v 1987−2014 gg.: osnovnye tendentsii razvitiya [Foreign Media Companies on Russia’s Print Media Market in 1987−2014: Developmental Tendencies]. Mediaskop 1. Available at:


 © Milana V. Zakharova

PhD, Senior Lecturer at the Chair of Foreign Journalism and Literature, Faculty of Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University (Moscow, Russia),

© Ekaterina B. Kiselyeva

PhD, Senior Lecturer at the Chair of Foreign Journalism and Literature, Faculty of Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University (Moscow, Russia),



The paper looks at the main tendencies in the development of foreign media companies on Russia’s print media market in the period between 1987 and 2014. The sample included over ten publishing houses with a strong impact on Russia’s media industry, Axel Springer, Bonnier Business Press, Hubert Burda Media, Gruher+Jahr, Lagardere, Sanoma Independent Media and Shibsted among these. The specifics of penetration, including those depending on the time of advent onto the Russian market, property structure (a 100% subsidiary, joint ventures) and market activities are analysed. Examples of both expansion and phasing out are considered. Special attention is given to the asset structures (free and paid newspapers, magazines, partworks, book publishing and media product lines (publishing own brands, licensed international brands, affiliated magazines, localized editions and new projects started from scratch). Foreign brand promotion models used on the Russian market including brand diversification on various theme markets, consolidation on a niche market, visibility on the internet, trade name advertising and promotion, and familiarization projects are discussed.

The study showed that foreign media companies heavily relied on the experience in promotion accumulated on other foreign markets including those of Central and Eastern Europe. Such companies launched already popular publications, using the whole range of available tools, starting with cross-media advertising to master classes and short-term familiarization projects. A new stage for foreign media companies on Russia’s market started in February 2016 with the enactment of a law limiting the foreign capital share to 20% in all Russian media. This primarily goes for entertainment media and magazines yet the identified strategies of the publishing houses as well as their successes and failures may prove useful for better understanding of Russia’s print periodicals market.

Keywords: foreign media company, publishing strategies, advertising market, companies types, magazine press.



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