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IDG

Overview

This profile considers the IDG magazine and information services group.


It covers -

  • introduction
  • publications
  • online
  • research
  • events
  • venture capital
  • studies

Introduction

International Data Group (better known as ) is a US-based conglomerate that straddles technical magazine and book publishing, data services, recruitment services, conferences and venture capital. IDG had 2001 revenues of US$3.01 billion and over 12,000 employees worldwide, roughly three times the size of competitor T&F Informa (formed through the 2004 merger of Taylor & Francis and Informa, which in turn consolidated IBC and LLP) and Ziff-Davis.

The group was founded and is still majority-owned by Patrick McGovern.

McGovern became associate editor of Computers & Automation while a biophysics student at MIT. In 1964 he founded International Data Corporation (IDC) - now an IDG research subsidiary - and launched Computerworld in 1967.

Expansion of the group has been driven by repackaging content into local versions of its magazines - with for example a Greenland edition of Computerworld - until it has the ubiquity of Microsoft Windows.

IDG had a brief and unpleasant excursion into book publishing, with acquisition and sale of the Hungry Minds group at the end of last century following purchase of Macmillan General Reference USA from Pearson for £52m in 1998. The 'Hungry' group was founded in 1990 as an IT training specialist. It acquired CliffsNotes in 1998 and Macmillan General Reference in 1999, becoming one of the top 10 consumer book publishers in the US. It was bought by IDG in 2000. In 2001 IDG sold its 75% stake in Hungry Minds to Wiley.

In August 2006 IDG agreed to acquire Fairfax's British assets (including MIS UK and the Market Base database). In return Fairfax Business Media (FBM) gained a licence to publish IDG's global IT content and mastheads in Singapore, Malaysia and New Zealand, along with IDG's circulation information and infrastructure in those markets.

The IDG corporate site is here

Publications

The group has around 300 magazines and newspapers in 85 countries. Most are local versions of its five flagships: Computerworld/InfoWorld, CIO, Macworld, Network World and PC World.

Online

IDG operates around 330 sites in 80 countries, mostly repackaged content from the print publications and supported by "the world's only 24-hour global technology news organization, the IDG News Service".

Research

International Data Corporation (IDC) claims to be "the world's leading provider of global marketing intelligence", with 575 analysts and research centers in 43 countries. Activity centres on market research in consumer computing, including personal computing, online services and games.

Events

The group operates over 168 conferences and events in 35 countries, including LinuxWorld Conference & Expo, Macworld Conference & Expo, Agenda & Demo and BioITWorld Conference & Expo.

Venture capital

In 1997 IDG launched IDG Ventures' Pacific Technology Ventures USA, a US$80m venture capital fund for US IT companies. Money went to what it describes as "extraordinary successes" such as Babycenter.com, Spinner.com and F5 Networks. In 1999 it launched a new US$100m fund, IDG Ventures USA II, followed by IDG Ventures Europe (US$100m) in 2000 and another US fund in Boston in 2001.

Studies

There have been no major studies of the IDG group.

For US venture capital activity see the works highlighted here on the Caslon Analytics site. James Ledbetter's engaging Starving To Death on $200 Million: The Short, Absurd Life of The Industry Standard (New York: PublicAffairs 2003) offers insights into the organisations's borg-like corporate culture.