The media industry is constantly challenged by digital innovation
Amedia focuses on digital innovation to foster development and growth, which among other things has brought explosive growth in the number of digital subscribers. “The key to growth is in the company’s strategy where journalism is the main focus area,” says Sindre N. Saksæther, Amedia’s Finance Manager.
Amedia is Norway’s largest publisher of local news. On a daily basis, Amedia’s over 60 subscription newspapers, online newspapers and other publications reach more than 1.9 million readers. This counts for more than one third of Norway’s population. In 2017, Amedia achieved an EBIT of NOK 476 million, which is 96 million more than in 2016. Arvato handles the company’s invoice distribution, reminder- and collection services.
The entire media industry has gone through a shift from paper to digital surfaces. The industry is in constant development, and the amount of players are just growing.
"This change has put pressure on revenue development and has led to the need for significant restructuring," says Saksæther."
"In Amedia, we took control of the cost issue early on, and at the same time, the management introduced a strategy with a strong focus on improvements in content and way of working.”
Amedia is now experiencing strong growth in digital subscribers and increased publishing revenues.
"The growth we experience in revenue, results from the success of the strategy. And in combination with reasonable cost management, we have come to find ourselves in a solid financial situation", says the Finance Manager.
Amedia has managed to turn the challenges faced by the media industry into something positive, and for us, who also embrace digitisation and the opportunities it offers, Amedia is an inspiring partner.Vidar Karlsen, KAM, Arvato Financial Solutions
Awarded for their content strategy
In April this year, Amedia won the “Best reader revenue initiative” award during the European Digital Media Awards. The award is a result of Amedias systematic focus on analytics and content development. Saksæther explains how the detailed analysis work as the basis for the content strategy and enable the local papers and publishers to know more precisely which content their readers are interested in.
“Our analysts assessed more than 11,000 articles, and based on the analyses’ they could make specific recommendations for improvements.
Kvinnheringen is one of Amedias many local newspapers. They won the award "Europe's best local newspaper". There were several reasons backing the decision, but the above article; "A night with the police" was one of them. Photo/illustration: Kvinnheringen.
The actual implementation took place locally, and there’s no doubt that they did a fantastic job out in the local papers and publications, to start working in line with the new content strategy,” he says.
As a consequence the focus is switched to “digital first”, meaning journalists mainly write for the digital platforms, and focus on having the right content mix, optimizing titles, and deciding what should be available only to the subscribers. In addition the use of live-images and streaming has increased substantially. “But print media is still an area of high importance to us”, Saksæther emphasises.
“Fredriksstad Blad is an example of a local newspaper with a dedicated ‘digital first’ focus which still publishes a solid printed product six days a week.”
Amedia also launched a new programmatic ad solution in 2017. The solution trebled the programmatic advertising revenue from the same period of the previous year. This has been an important contribution to the growth Amedia has accomplished in digital advertisement.
In the process of strengthening emphasis on our strategy and focus areas, we’ve found it reasonable to use partners to handle the tasks that are not part of our core activities. When it comes to the services which Arvato handle, we acknowledge that this can be a complex task due to our many companies, and we’re pleased with the job they do for us.Sindre Saksæther, Finance Manager, Amedia
Cooperation with Arvato
Amedia’s customer contact at Arvato, Vidar Karlsen, applauds Amedia’s achievements.
“They’ve managed to turn the challenges faced by the media industry into something positive, and for us, who also embrace digitisation and the opportunities it offers, Amedia is an inspiring partner.”
Amedia uses the services of Arvato Financial Solutions for invoice distribution, reminder service and collection.
“In the process of strengthening emphasis on our strategy and focus areas, we’ve found it reasonable to use partners to handle the tasks that are not part of our core activities. When it comes to the services which Arvato handle, we acknowledge that this can be a complex task due to our many companies, and we’re really pleased with the job they do for us,” says the Finance Manager.
Amedia has just embarked on a digital journey offering many exciting opportunities, and Saksæther believes that in the future it will be even more important to deliver content of high quality that readers can trust, and are willing to pay for.
“We will aim to offer even more personalised content, while at the same time ensuring broad, informative news coverage to support our democracy,” he concludes.