In the last 12 months, American publishers, including Mashable, Business Insider and, as of last week, Forbes, have set their sights on France as its latest region for international expansion.
“Western Europe has traditionally been more difficult to enter due to entrenched local competition,” said Mike Federle, president and COO of Forbes Media. “The internet changes that somewhat.” Forbes France is the business title’s 37th international edition and the first one where it’s entering with its website first and a print magazine planned for the following year, mitigating some of the risk of expanding in a new region.
It’s also hard to ignore the upcoming French presidential election next spring. Feelings of anti-gloablization and populist sentiment have surged with the rise of Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front, making her the third significant frontrunner in the race. “Post-Brexit and post-Trump, next year’s French elections could hardly be less predictable or more important and influential,” said Douglas McCabe, CEO at Enders Analysis, “and so the global media circus around it will be substantially greater than French politics would expect to attract in more routine years. Given their own countries’ recent pasts, U.K. and U.S. media will take a particular interest.”