magazines & SIM

Special Interest Media



 Koen Crijns


The ‘Special Interest Media’ (SIM) brands AutoWeek, vtwonen, de Ondernemer and Ouders van Nu create unique stories in a specific interest area on a daily basis. How can these niche brands be successful without digital subscriptions? “Exactly by offering readers digital stories that perfectly align with their interests and finding suitable advertisers to match,” says Koen Crijns, deputy director of Special Interest Media. “And every brand does so in its own way.”

Every SIM brand is an authority in its own sector. They tend to be followed or read by consumers who want to engage in the latest trends or are looking to buy something new, such as a car, laptop or couch. As these brands focus on such specific topics, there won’t be a large groups of subscribers. Crijns: “This is why we started looking for advertising models that dovetail with this, such as price comparison sites, marketplaces and very specific advertisers.”

Content, community and conversion

How does that work in practice? “Our approach centres on three pillars that reinforce one another, namely content community and conversion,” says Crijns. “The editing teams – let me be clear on that – keep making content independently. Tweakers carries out objective tests in its test lab, the vtwonen stylists give their personal style recommendations and AutoWeek tests cars without any prejudice whatsoever. It is exactly because our users trust our advice that our brands have so much impact in their respective sectors.

The combination of professional tests and user experiences from the community turns out to be extremely valuable. Crijns: “Readers get the best content and can use the community to contribute to it themselves. Advertisers get the ideal context and a very specific target audience to show their ads to. A perfect match for both.”

If they’re interested in the ad or offer, the reader can directly make a purchase from the advertiser. “For one title we receive commission if people click through to the web shop. For another we offer our own products. And sometimes it’s a combination of both. Each brand does it in its own, unique way.”


As the home and decoration brand, vtwonen helps people by inspiring and informing them. If the vtwonen ‘seal of approval’ is on a product, people know it matches the brand’s taste and style. In addition to a magazine, television show and home-styling fair offering loads of inspiration, vtwonen also has a web shop. This is currently in collaboration with a large online retailer. At the end of 2024, we’ll be launching our own marketplace: from then on we’ll be running our own shop with an even wider range of products for your home. Purchasing, inventory and further processing will be managed by the direct suppliers. In addition, vtwonen offers its own products, ranging from crockery and bedlinen to floors and furniture.


Tweakers is intended for real tech lovers that keep a close eye on trends, but also for those considering a purchase, such as a new laptop. The consumer compares, looks at professional test results and reads user experiences of various laptops. Once they’ve picked one, they might want to know where they can buy it at the lowest price. The Pricewatch comparison site can be helpful in this regard. It lists the price and points of sale for every tech product imaginable, thereby helping visitors decide where to make their purchase.


AutoWeek is the place to go for inspiration and information on cars and everything related to them. It’s a brand for real car aficionados, but also for people who are looking to buy a car. It provides advice in a number of ways, including through extensive tests, reviews and a platform for user reviews where car owners can share their experiences with a particular model. AutoWeek also offers the so-called Kentekencheck. By filling in this license plate check, a product you purchase directly, you receive a full report on the car. From technical details, test records by AutoWeek editors and user reviews, and periodic inspection results to any previous damage: the report contains all available information. Alongside the Kentekencheck, visitors can also directly search for second-hand cars advertised in collaboration with partners.