In the pursuit of new audiences, one media outlet went out to find them. One knew what it was, but it had to educate its own staff first. And the third went straight to its target.
Three difference approaches shared during during this week’s INMA Media Subscriptions Town Hall, but the goal is all about developing fresh readers and staying afloat in a constantly changing media landscape.
During the Town Hall, INMA shared learnings from the European Subscriptions Academy 2022, featuring thought leadership from Google News Initiative and FT Strategies. The recording and presentations can be found here and an overview of the Town Hall can be found here.
Dziennik Gazeta Prawna expands its audience
For Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, a business newspaper in Warsaw that specialises in coverage of taxes, legal issues, and economics, realised it occupied a unique niche and could spread its assets to smaller towns.
“We are providing a service, we are expected to have the additional value to our customers,” deputy editor-in-chief Marek Tejchman said. “What we are providing to our audience is not the number of articles that are being transformed to the digital form. It is the service of bringing them knowledge.”
The media company has organised conferences featuring prominent business experts, European commissioners, and speakers from abroad who could inform about rules and regulations affecting Poland. In addition, reporters get to interact with their readers, who often provide feedback about what is important to them.
“We can actually grow our subscriptions,” Tejchman said. “Even if there is like 200, 300 people joining this conference, they could be a great audience, they could be great subscription buyers. They very often stay with us.”
Hamburger Abendblatt reorganises staff to reach younger readers
The idea of going deep into the communities is something Hamburger Abendblatt has embraced as well. But it also has had to restructure its staff to accommodate the drive to diversify its audience.
According to Cordula Schmitz, deputy editor-in-chief of the newspaper, the readership consists mostly of “heritage readers” — those who have been loyal consumers for decades — and surprisingly, “young, young readers” who are not yet 35.
The group that is lagging: 35-to 50-year-old readers.
The media company had plenty of data on hand to show what it could do to reach, grow, and understand that audience. But after some experiments and debates, it was decided that first, Hamburger Abendblatt needed to reorganise its staff.
“We have to change the mindset of the journalists right now,” Schmitz said. “But on several points, the editors are not so used to using the data or not so eager to use the data.”
“We are the door to our city,” she said. “We are the ones you can ask when you want to have a job done. You know, if your kindergarten is not working well, if you want to know where the new hot restaurant is, that’s everything we want to provide.”
Financial Times targets readers with curated app
The Financial Times, with an enormous presence, found a substantial group of readers who needed a curated app that focused on deep dives and were willing to pay for it.
The option relieved readers who were overwhelmed by the constant flow of news and social media, said FT Senior Product Manager Dilyana Evtimova said: “Actually, the experience is what they’re currently lacking.”
But in seeking its new audience, the Financial Times also assumed the possibility of failure. It needed to test its assumption of the audience gap, marketing, and feasibility. The venture was high risk and high investment, but also high return.