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TechTarget plans entry into Japanese IT market

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Last month, TechTarget announced another partnership designed to give the information technology media company a foothold in Asia. The Needham, Mass.-based media company formed a partnership with ITmedia, a Softbank Group company, to develop Japanese-language versions of TechTarget products.

The two companies will launch TechTarget Web sites, magazines and e-newsletters for Japanese IT professionals and executives. TechTarget CEO Greg Strakosch said the first TechTarget magazine to be launched in Japan will be CIODecisions, which is debuting this month in the U.S. In a later phase of the partnership, ITmedia editorial staff will provide each property with local content about Japanese IT professionals, vendors and products.

"It's a smart move [going into Asia]," said Jeff Dearth, partner at media investment bank DeSilva & Phillips. "And it's smart to pick a partner with tremendous credibility and `ins' in the market. You can't fault them for that."

"The big story there is who we partnered with," said Strakosch, who sees Tokyo-based Softbank as a powerful force in tech media.

Softbank owned Ziff Davis Media in the 1990s. It currently focuses on broadband and other Internet investments and is a majority shareholder in Yahoo! Japan. It generated $4.9 billion in revenue in 2004.

Part of the deal between TechTarget and Softbank is a reciprocal sales agreement that will enable each company to sell advertising on the other's media properties. In May 2004, TechTarget announced similar deals in China and Taiwan.

In China, TechTarget partnered with ChinaByte, an IT portal, to develop Chinese-language versions of TechTarget Web sites. In Taiwan, it formed a partnership with New Era International, a security-media company, to launch Taiwanese versions of TechTarget's Information Security and SearchSecurity.com.

"In all of these cases, we've really partnered with the real A players in each one of these markets," Strakosch said. "We've turned down a lot of partners. We're being very selective."

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