The top story in the newsletter today is a look at Scandi media giant Schibsted’s march to 1 bn NOK ($115m) of reader revenue by next year.
You need to read this piece because it challenges conventional wisdom and explains some of the thinking behind Schibsted’s nuanced and data-informed strategy. Their strategy has changed over time and is flexible enough to make allowances for the audiences and positioning of their different properties.
In terms of how their reader revenue strategy has evolved, it started simply by trying to grow their paying audiences when it launched in 2017, and then as they built the customer base, they pivoted to customer retention. And now, they are focused on “pricing, packaging, user experience and additional products, all the while keeping a steady hand on churn”.
What is really impressive is how adaptable and flexible their thinking is. They eschew the one-size-fits-all model that can be the reflexive response by some large groups. In that model, they run the same playbook everywhere. One gets the impression that this is to control costs because they don’t have the resources for multiple strategies tailored for different products.
For Schibsted, they have different models for their high volume tabloids – VG and Aftonbladet. Those properties remain mostly ad-supported. The reader revenue component is mainly to do with premium content. But for a local title, Bergens Tidende, up to 70% of the content is behind the paywall.
But they are also adding information into their model about stories that converted users to subscribers in the past. Very smart and well worth your time.