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Asociación Técnica de Diarios Latinoamericanos
Boletín Semanal enero 13, 2020

Con una estrategia basada en las necesidades del lector el medio Sweden SvD está trabajando dirigido al sostenimiento digital

Scandinavian media group Schibsted has made no secret of its goal to generate close to €100 million in digital reader revenue at some point next year. Here’s how its quality daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet in Sweden is doing its part.

“We have an important vision and mission, but we do need to be digitally sustainable and profitable,” said Anna Careborg, the paper’s CEO and editor-in-chief, during last week’s Claves 2020 conference in Madrid.

As part of this journey, quality morning paper Svenska Dagbladet (SvD), which has a hybrid paywall model and launched digital subscription in 2013, has been moving towards a more reader-focused and data-informed strategy.

Based on interviews with more than 1,300 digital news readers who are willing to pay or already pay for news, SvD created 10 principles that will guide the brand moving forward:

  • our readers are our focus
  • we are always relevant
  • we add something unique
  • we respect our readers ability to think for themselves
  • we provide multiple perspectives
  • we care about our readers' time
  • we care about quality
  • we are transparent
  • we collaborate
  • we dare to try new things

SvD is putting particular emphasis on three areas, she said: producing journalism focused on readers’ needs, improving collaboration between departments, and investing in innovation.

In line with its reader-focused approach, SvD created a four-field editorial model.

“Our readers want to understand what’s happening in the news, they want to be able to make smart decisions in their daily life, they want to know the bigger picture, where we are heading, and they also want content that relates to their interests and identities,” Careborg said.

In a bid to make the newsroom more data-informed, the editorial, data analysis, and sales departments are working together more closely, and newsroom staff have been given access to a tool named “Oracle”, which helps determine when an article should go behind the paywall.

“We also have to innovate,” Careborg said. “Going forward we have to have the advertisers with us to find different kinds of revenue streams.”

Experimentation can be done in small steps, she pointed out, sharing a recent example that quickly found success among subscribers. Based on the theory of Spotify playlists that assume listeners’ needs (i.e. you want to listen to a different playlist when you’re going for a run as opposed to when you’re studying), SvD launched a “morning report” newsletter, giving an overview of the most important news stories distributed at 6.30 AM.

“We now have more than 40 000 subscribers reading that report every morning,” Careborg said. “This is an example of how we can build relationships in different ways.”

During the Claves 2020 conference, WAN-IFRA caught up with Anna Careborg to learn more about SvD’s strategy.

The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

WAN-IFRA: Over the past years, most brands across Schibsted have focused on reader revenue strategies and continuing transformation. How has SvD benefited from that?

Anna Careborg: Our goal is to be sustainable digitally and all the brands are aiming for that within a couple of years, but where you are on this train varies. As Svenska Dagbladet, we have a print legacy, so it’s very important for us to put even more effort into that journey. We've seen that people are willing to pay for news, for what we do, so now we have to convince them that it’s worth it, and make sure that we keep them and create habits.

There is a lot of knowledge-sharing, and I think that is crucial. It’s very important that we can share best practices among our brands going forward. It’s an advantage for us. Also, we have to look at these synergistic effects of working together. In consumer business, the staff work closely with the newsroom at Svenska Dagbladet but report to Tor Jacobsen, who is SVP Consumer marketing and Revenue at Schibsted Media. We have this matrix function, so they are working both for Schibsted and for Svenska Dagbladet. 

How is your editorial strategy evolving?

I think it's so interesting to look at needs instead of topics. If you look at how people are consuming us digitally, it’s mainly on mobile and it’s a limited space, so you have to be relevant for them. We are now in the process of reinventing our home page. Now, we organise towards working more with that four-field model because when we asked readers, they said they want a complete experience, they want those different types of content. They don't want only news.

I think now that we understand more about relevance, we don’t really have the time to put out ‘not-so-good’ stories. When you look at print products, the readers buy the package, and you don’t know how many of them are actually reading every story. Now we can see how people consume our news when we analyse the data.

I have three ‘banned’ content types in the newsroom: One is stories that look too much like a Wikipedia entry. If we do that today, no one will read it. We have to do real journalism. The other ones are ‘anniversary stories’, something that took place 15 years ago or 20 years ago. They are fictive angles, nothing new has happened. Journalism needs to be about the future, not about the past. The third one, which is the most difficult one to ban in the newsroom, are the ‘why not’ stories. That is a combination of time-pressed editors and reporters that have an idea that is not bad but not great either. When we produce these ‘why not’ stories, we are occupied with this, and don’t have the resources to produce the must-tell stories. And we must start with those.

How does this affect the newsroom’s organisation?

If you start with the must-tell stories, it can differ from one day to another what people really care about, what is relevant, and then we have to organise in a different way in the newsroom.

Now, we are creating a hub with five editors from Svenska Dagbladet from culture, business, news, who are working together to find the best stories to tell, not the best stories from their respective silos, but starting with what readers want to know and care about. Working this way might reduce the volume of content, but I think we have to do that. The volume of content was created because newspapers needed to be filled. But if you start with the readers, and the must-tell stories, you can skip others. If we can provide the perfect mix of those four fields, we create a greater product that engages the audience.

One challenge is that we have to keep up the print product, and if we fill it with too much news agency content, the audience reacts... so it’s a balance. But we have started to de-prioritise content that isn’t being read or is relevant.

How has your algorithmically-driven homepage evolved over the past years?

We went very much into that algorithm, and it has served us very well. We’ve worked with it for four years, so we’ve learned much more about it. Now, we can put in editors’ choices where we think it will be good for us, and still work with algorithms.

We also created newsletters without the human touch, and they perform well. But the morning report [an overview of the most important news stories opened and read by more than 40 000 subscribers] is created by a reporter, you can see his or her name, and it’s a lot more personal. I believe in both those, and not having the algorithm go at it all alone. I believe strongly in the combination of data and craftsmanship – not editors just following their own gut feeling, but being data-informed in their decisions.

La estrategia del Washington Post en relación con Tik Tok

Tik Tok ha sido una de las redes sociales que más ha crecido entre los los jóvenes de 16 a 24 años en este año que acaba. Algunos medios de comunicación, tal vez atrapados en el síndrome de las cosas brillanteshan intentado, en general sin mucho éxito, replicar en Tik Tok algunas de las estrategias que usan en redes sociales, sobre todo en cuanto a publicación de vídeos. Cortes de vídeo de declaraciones, algún vídeo sobre un suceso relevante… Los resultados, salvo excepciones, no están siendo buenos. Sólo hay que darse una vuelta por los perfiles de los periódicos que tienen cuenta abierta en Tik Tok para darse cuenta de que no son, precisamente, de los más seguidos.

La pregunta que debe responderse es: ¿Todas las redes sociales sirven para difundir nuestro contenido, como por ejemplo Twitter, o adaptarlo a las características de redes sociales o puede ser una red social como Tik Tok un espacio propio para otro tipo de contenidos, no necesariamente informativos, como puedan ser los crucigramas o las  viñetas en los periódicos?

The Washington Post en Tik Tok

Una de las claves a la hora de enfocar la estrategia en Tik Tok nos lo da, por ejemplo, lo que está haciendo Washington Post, uno de los periódicos que más seguidores tiene en Tik Tok, aparte de los deportivos. Según publica The Atlantic, el WP abrió la //www.tiktok.com/@washingtonpost/">cuenta en Tik Tok a finales de mayo y tiene ya 310.000 seguidores. La cuenta tiene una cara conocida, la de Dave Jorgenson, editor de vídeo y miembro del “departamento satírico”, según indica el propio periódico en la página de perfil de Jorgenson, a parte de guionizar vídeos.

La cuenta del Post no se caracteriza por ofrecer vídeos noticiosos, sino que en las series de 15 segundos, máxima duración del vídeo en Tik Tok, Jorgensen y el WP publican vídeos de //www.tiktok.com/@washingtonpost/video/6754010987227090182">humor en el lugar de trabajo, desfiles de mascotas, acrobacias, etc. El WP no ha entendido Tik Tok como una plataforma más en la que difundir sus contenidos editoriales, sino un espacio para producir vídeos cortos con talante humorístico, y dar a conocer la marca entre los jóvenes. Sin más pretensiones, como lo pueda ser la sección del crucigrama o la de viñetas humorísticas.

“Cuando pregunté por qué The Washington Post está en TikTok – indica el autor del artículo en The Atlantic-, Jorgenson comparó los videos con las viñetas. “Ha habido viñetas en [periódicos] durante 300 años”, dijo. Esas caricaturas le han dado al Post un puñado de Pulitzers a lo largo de los años”.

Michelle Jaconi (directora del equipo creativo de vídeo del WP), mencionó por su parte el crucigrama. “Cuando se introdujeron los crucigramas”, dijo, “mucha gente comentó: ‘No entiendo. Esto es tonto. ¿Por qué esto está en un periódico? Fueron enterrados, en algunos periódicos, en la sección para mujeres, y mucha gente no podía entenderlo. Ahora lo miras y es un negocio próspero, una fuente no sólo de ingresos por suscripción, sino también de sindicación”.

Jaconi y Jorgensen también ven a TikTok de esa manera: un proyecto paralelo aparentemente alegre que sirve, furtivamente, para reforzar la misión periodística del periódico y atraer nuevos lectores. El suscriptor promedio del Post es, según Jorgensen, “mayor de 40 años. Así que esta es una muy buena manera de, al menos, lograr que [las personas más jóvenes] confíen en la marca o la conozcan”.

Una forma de hacerlo es mostrar la redacción en acción. “Noté que la gente estaba realmente interesada en ver a un periodista en su escritorio”, dijo Jorgenson. “La gente nunca ha visto eso. Han visto la versión de 24 horas [TV por cable], donde ves la cabeza de alguien en la pantalla. Pero no han visto a un periodista trabajando en su escritorio”. El proceso de hacer periodismo es a menudo opaco; TikTok puede desmitificarlo, humanizando a las personas, particularmente importante en una época en que las marcas personales dominan”.

La Generación Z lee más ediciones impresas que digitales según varios estudios y esta condición puede recuperar la prensa

Un estudio llevado a cabo por MNI Targeted Media, la división media planning de Meredith Corporation, propietaria de decenas de medios impresos (sobre todo revistas: Instyle, Ser Padres Bebé, Health, etc) y otros digitales (All recipes, etc.) sostiene que las ediciones impresas puede que no estén tan condenadas a desaparecer como se está indicando, ya que la generación que sucede a los Millenials, esto es, la Generación Z, no ha crecido en el rechazo a lo impreso, sino que lo ha incluido entre sus prácticas, y saben perfectamente las virtudes de uno y otro canal y las combinan en una perfecta onmicanalidad. 

Para obtener información sobre esta generación, MNI Targeted Media, en colaboración con las Universidades de Mississipi y Purdue encuestó a estudiantes de estos centros educativos en torno al consumo de medios, obteniendo un total de 2.571 respuestas válidas.

Según el informe de MNI, “la Generación Z sabe que hay una diferencia entre leer en pantalla y en una página impresa, y prestan más atención al leer el documento impreso. Una encuesta reciente encontró que el 92% de los estudiantes universitarios de la Generación Z preferiría seguir los cursos en formato impreso antes que en tabletas, y una encuesta de Student Monitor detectó que el 87% de los libros de texto de los estudiantes (compra o alquiler) se corresponden con libros impresos”.

Las mismas reglas “se aplican para el consumo de medios: el estudio de MNI ha detectado que los miembros de la Generación Z pasan más tiempo leyendo periódicos y revistas físicas sin interrupción de lo que lo hacen en las redes sociales, sitios web y blogs”, sostiene el informe de MNI Targeted Media que, aunque fue realizado el año pasado, tomaba como referencia 2020, ya que este próximo año, según las estimaciones de esta filial de Meredith Corporation, casi el 40% del mercado de consumidores estadounidenses estará ya integrado por miembros de la Generación Z.

Los primeros integrantes de la Generación Z tienen ya casi 25 años. Se ha establecido, aunque suele haber variaciones según la fuente, que la Generación Z comprende a los nacidos entre 1995 y 2012.

Según el trabajo, esta generación ya no está tan deslumbrada por los efectos de lo digital, y huye “de todo lo que carece del tono, el lenguaje y la relevancia correctos, independientemente de la plataforma”. Eligen lo mejor de cada canal.

” Descubrimos -sostiene el informe- que el 90% confía en los medios de comunicación para mantenerse en contacto con lo que está sucediendo en el mundo, el 72% dice que el coste es el factor más importante al realizar una compra, y más del 50% siente que saber que una marca es socialmente consciente influye en la compra decisiones. Para las marcas que están dispuestas a hablar con la Generación Z, las recompensas serán profundas”.

Otra de sus características es que usan mucho las redes sociales, pero de una manera distinta a otras generaciones: “La Generación Z no está tuiteando sobre lo que almorzaron. Usan las redes sociales para cultivar identidades y contar historias, a menudo dirigidas a audiencias específicas. Saben cómo llevar una narrativa a las personas adecuadas y crear compromiso. Son vendedores naturales”.

No es el único estudio aparecido al respecto. Otra investigación, en este caso realizada por Printing Industries of Americasostiene que la generación Z representa un mercado emergente para la industria de la impresión y aporta unos datos como que:

  • Pasan aproximadamente 1 hora cada semana leyendo revistas
  • Prefieren leer libros impresosantes que ebooks
  • Prefieren los materiales de aprendizaje impresos(libros de texto, artículos de investigación) porque les ayudan a enfocar el problema
  • Valoran los medios impresos y confían en las publicaciones impresas más que en los medios digitales

The Southeast Missourian incrementa en 80 poe ciento las suscripciones digitales

The insights shared below come from participation in the GNI Subscriptions Lab, a partnership with Google News Initiative and FTI Consulting. Through Accelerate Local, we invite expert practitioners from among the 10 GNI Subscriptions Lab participants, or from other organizations, to share key important topics relevant to subscriptions success

The Southeast Missourian, a daily newspaper in Cape Girardeau, MO, is one of ten publishers in the GNI Subscriptions Lab. Through its participation, Assistant Publisher Lucas Presson said the company has focused on building stronger relationships with readers and improving page speed.

“Since we started, not only are our stats so much better with items like newsletter sign-ups and opens, our overall digital subscriptions are up 81 percent,” he said.

The GNI Subscriptions Lab began with individual consultations and group benchmarking, and now publishers are seeing the initial results of tests built through learnings in the Lab. We asked Presson to share what he has learned and how it has improved the business.

What has been your biggest takeaway so far from participating in the Subscriptions Lab?

So far it’s been all about building frequency with users — and hitting them regularly with subscription offers and a simple, cancel-anytime check-out process.

These two ideas guide us in everything we do, from how we think about content or set up our email newsletter strategy (to drive frequency and retention), to, for example, how we frame our rates and what colors we use on a subscription landing page. Of course, building frequency also relates to the relevancy of our content and overall user experience – so we’re constantly measuring, evaluating and seeking to improve.

An important corollary to building frequency is getting our traditional print readers more active online, because if we are going to make the transition to mainly digital in the future, it will be imperative to take a high percentage of them along.

Were there any notable surprises from the FTI benchmarking of the SE Missourian’s audience or subscriber data, and overall consumer revenue business? What changes did it spark within your organization? 

Our pay flow efficiency rate was at the upper end of the cohort but still significantly lower than we wanted. We had more than 70% of potential subscribers not completing the final step in the process. This led us to re-examine what information is required and in what order.

We also set up a three-option strategy in our subscribe page – which seeks to frame a “readers choice” option between a high-cost option and decoy. This not only provides clarity to readers and helps them make a quick positive decision, it leads them in the direction we want them to go. The removal of friction from the purchasing path has been a consistent theme.

What specific opportunities are you pursuing in the testing phase of the Lab as a result of cohort roadmap development? 

Our primary test is a 30-day onboarding campaign to retain new subscribers. These customers made the decision to purchase a digital subscription, but it’s our responsibility to make sure they know how to take full advantage of the subscription. This goes along with building frequency.

The five emails include:

  1. Welcome message — something to connect the subscriber to our mission and community.
  2. What newsletters do we offer and how to opt-in.
  3. E-edition, sometimes referred to as the replica edition. Especially for print readers, this is the closest thing to the newspaper without having the hard copy in hand.
  4. Letter from publisher. A thank you for supporting local journalism and an invitation to let us know how we’re doing or even pitch a story idea. We’re using this as a way to connect with readers.
  5. Download the app. Our Southeast Missourian and Semoball (the regional sports website that comes with a newspaper subscription) apps provide subscribers an exclusive experience. And the apps provide us with opportunities to push specific pieces of content through push alerts.

Another test, which we are close to starting, is a pay modal for lead generation. Non-subscribers who provide their email address will have an opportunity to access content free for a day. Mobile non-subscribers will receive a week’s access. This gives us an opportunity to send them special offers in the future.

You talked to us about the three-option pricing/positioning strategy for subscriptions. Tell us more about how you came up with the different subscription paths and what you’re learning from the test.

The three-option strategy is designed to lead readers to the center option. It’s the best price of the three but includes what we believe readers want. It’s based on research that suggests this design is most conducive.

We’ve also recently launched an in-article design. When a reader hits the paywall, instead of requiring a subscribe button click to see options, now the three options appear on the page automatically. It’s too early to tell how successful this change will be, but it’s another step in removing friction from the subscription process.

One final note: We have also updated the design and messaging on our subscription pages to try to create an emotional bond with our readers and connect them better to our mission while at the same time creating urgency around words that have tested positively for enhancing the likelihood of their subscribing.

Very little of this we would be doing without the insights from the Subscriptions Lab, certainly not without the same urgency and confidence we’re implementing them. And, since we started, not only are our stats so much better with items like newsletter sign-ups and opens, our overall digital subscriptions are up 81 percent.

SEMO’s email newsletter metrics are up substantially through your work in the Lab. What are key steps you’ve taken, both to acquire more qualified emails and then generate more consistent engagement with this known audience? 

We’ve added newsletter opt-in widgets to story pages and moved the widget up to mid-story instead of the end.

We’re adding toasters to the bottom of the page and a modal that asks readers to sign up for our daily headlines newsletter. This is delivered once every 30 days.

We’re doing more in print to promote our newsletters. On most stories, you’ll find a promo at the end to encourage the reader to signup for a specific newsletter if they liked the story they just read.

In our contests, we’re doing a better job of adding a pre-checked email newsletter opt-in. This has been a big help with list growth. Then we monitor which readers are opening the newsletters. If they’re inactive for a certain period of time, we cull them from the list.

Finally, we send out more newsletters than we did before starting the Subscriptions Lab. Everything from daily headlines to college sports to business and even obits. Our emails consist of fewer stories but with greater frequency. Instead of putting everything in one email, we have more targeted lists.

Taking a closer look at another specific initiative, tell us more about SEMO’s focus on page speed, particularly on mobile. How have you created organizational focus around this? What specific actions have you taken that have had the most significant effect on improving page speed and overall UX?  

User experience drives a lot of our decisions, and page speed is top of the list with UX. Many of our users live in rural areas where high-speed Internet access is not ubiquitous. So for us, website speed is not a luxury. It’s a necessity.

Because we have a proprietary CMS and are not dependent on multiple vendors, we have an advantage when it comes to website speed. We have reduced the number of advertisements to subscribers — including the removal of Taboola. This is actually a differentiation for users between the subscriber and non-subscriber experiences, and we actively promote the benefit of an ad-light environment to our non-subscribers as one reason to subscribe.

With Taboola no longer there for subscribers, we can use the space to promote more of our own stories to improve re-circulation. Meanwhile, while we do serve Taboola ads to non-subscribers, we include our own stories in the mix within the widget.

The Telegraph supera una marca ahora que el número de suscriptores digitales supera los suscriptores de la edición impresa

The Telegraph now has more paying subscribers online than in print for the first time in its 164-year history.

The newspaper revealed today it has passed the milestone as it reached 420,000 paying subscribers.

A Telegraph spokesperson told Press Gazette digital subscriptions are currently growing at their “fastest rate ever; double what it was last year”.

Telegraph chief executive Nick Hugh tweeted: “Today [the] Telegraph has achieved 420,000 subscribers with the majority of those coming from digital.

“A huge milestone in our evolution and I couldn’t be prouder of everyone in the company.”

He told Bloomberg last week the Telegraph was in a “great position” after digital subscriptions grew by about 81,000 in a year.

“To be able to grow at that rate should give great comfort to the market that actually we will very soon be able to demonstrate a very clear sustainable path to ongoing growth,” he said.

The milestone indicates a continued boost in digital subscription revenue, which grew by 27 per cent in 2018. Offsetting print declines, this led to a total subscription revenue rise of ten per cent.

In October the Telegraph said it had 5m registered users, of which 400,000 were paying subscribers across print and digital.

Hugh is confident the title can add a further 100,000 paying subscribers by October next year.

In 2018 the company set a target of reaching 10m registered users and 1m paid subscribers by 2023.

The Telegraph website has had a premium subscription model since 2016, leaving some online stories available for free but putting most of its content out of reach to non-subscribers.

Registered users sign up with an email in exchange for free access to one premium article a week, however the title has faced criticism that it does not vet emails to ensure they are genuine.

A digital subscription costs £2 per week, or £3 including a digital copy of the newspaper. A seven-day print subscription costs £11.50.

Since May 2018 the Telegraph has also offered a digital subscription for just its sports content at £1 per week.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Hugh also addressed ongoing speculation over a potential sale of the Telegraph by its owners.

He said the Barclay brothers, who bought the newspaper in 2004 for £665m, are “incredibly supportive of how we transform to a model that’s sustainable into the future, and they recognize that that’s required investment”.

No sale process for the Telegraph itself has begun and no advisers have been hired, Hugh said.

Telegraph Media Group’s pre-tax profits fell by 88 per cent to £1.6m last year, while its revenues were down 2.6 per cent to £278.1m.