The World Publishing Expo opened in Amsterdam on Monday with a discussion of ways that news publishers can use their strengths to regain a competitive edge and earn new revenues. Larry Kilman gives an overview.
In his keynote presentation, Frank Volmer, managing director of Telegraaf Media Groep in the Netherlands, urged news publishers to focus less on platforms and more on why users come to them: “It’s the storytelling business that we are in.”
While noting that his group’s flagship newspaper, De Telegraaf, a leading national daily, just changed its format from broadsheet to tabloid size last Friday, Volmer said, “we will change continuously… and you can’t underestimate platforms – but it’s the storytelling that is most important.”
Volmer said, and noted that since launching four years ago, De Telegraaf’s revenues in this area are 10 times higher, costs have been reduced and today, 60% of online turnover is through RTB.
Know your users
Facebook and Google are not just getting revenues that once went to newspapers; those companies are also getting users’ time and data, said speaker Espen Olsen Langfeldt, managing editor of VG Mobil, Norway, a Schibsted-owned publication.
“We are seeing the power of registration,” Langfeldt told the audience. “Facebook knows what you did last weekend. They know who your friends are,” he said. To compete with the social-media giant, he said, publishers must learn more about their users. Thus Langfeldt urged publishers to require users to register.
All the speakers agreed on the benefits and power of cooperation and said publishers could benefit from working more closely with other publishers, including those in other countries – as De Telegraaf has done with Turkey’s Hürriyet. “We all face the same problems. We need to come together and solve them together,” said Langfeldt.
Together, publishers “can strengthen the pan-European public sphere” by stimulating discussion across borders, said Grzegorz Piechota, head of social campaigns at Poland’s Gazeta Wyborcza. The paper, a leading national daily, has content-sharing agreements with Der Spiegel of Germany and The Guardian of the U.K.
Approximately 7 000 visitors are expected to visit the 200-plus exhibitors over the three-day World Publishing Expo, the largest global trade exhibition for the news publishing and media industry, organised by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).
Each year, the World Publishing Expo brings together solution providers to the industry with its thought leaders and decision makers. It continues through Wednesday.
The new World Printers Forum, which begins on 15 October, the last day of Expo, and continues on Thursday, 16 October.
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