In relation to World Publishing Expo, Visiolink asks a number of media people about their views on newspapers' digital future.
We talked to Per Gylling, digital development manager at Jysk Fynske Medier and coordinator of the company’s ePaper-platform Nyhedskiosken (The News Stand). We had a chat about the ePaper’s future as an important part of the concern’s strategy.
The ePaper supports Jysk Fynske Medier's daily newspapers, weekly newspapers and a large number of magazines, by providing access to the publications digitally on desktop, smartphone and tablet. The digital platform allows for a completely new product mix.
"We are working on a new initiative in which we pull some of our magazine releases out of the newspaper and sell them as themed single releases. All readers will be able to subscribe to specific publications that are otherwise reserved for newspaper subscribers, through The News Stand," says Per Gylling, and elaborates: "We open up a new segment who are not necessarily interested in our newspapers, but would like to read our themed supplementary magazines.”
The magazines are published four times a month, so there is a lot of content at an unbeatable price. At the same time, it is not necessarily these four magazines themselves that attract readers to our newspapers. So it makes sense to offer the additional option digitally. "
In addition to increased availability, the ePapers and The News Stand support the commercial dimension of the printed newspapers. The News Stand builds on ideas about how future media platforms can be pieced together by standing on the shoulders of what we know. And with more than 130,000 users across the group's titles, there’s an obvious commercial angle to the app.
"The News Stand is a platform where readers can access all our publications in one place. It gives us a rather unique position in a time when the physical distribution is under pressure. With increased distribution prices, The News Stand can suddenly offer an alternative to newspapers and trade journals that can easily and conveniently can reach more than 130,000 users."
The large contact base has a commercial potential in itself, but Per Gylling also points out other economic benefits by prioritizing the ePaper as an independent product. Until now many media have not sold print ads with the added value proposition that they also will be shown digitally. But Jysk Fynske Medier is in the process of changing this, and deploying a new practice to all the group's digital publications.
"We have done away with a purely print focused ad sales process. All our advertisers now become aware of the increased value to also be present in the digital publications. It increases the overall value of the ads. The digital version makes all ads clickable, sending readers directly to the advertiser's website," says the development manager.
Advertising is a fundamental part of the media economy, and the ePaper is a powerful advertising platform. Jysk Fynske Medier has launched a new Data Management Platform product. With the implementation of DMP on all the group's digital products, a unique insight into customer interests and consumption patterns emerges. It provides customers with more relevant information, and advertisers with a better opportunity of targeting customers.”
The future of the digital publications on both desktop and in The News Stand is based on data. But the most interesting new opportunities for readers lurks in content composition.
"ePaper, going forward, will be far more interactive. There are several layers on top of the paper. And under, for that matter. Over the paper we make ads and articles clickable, so the reader can quickly get to the message’s place of origin. In addition, we look into how we enrich the digital products. We would like to enrich the ePaper with video, audio and links to PDFs. We are going to focus our efforts there going forward."
In the future, readers will find that you put layers onto the PDF newspaper where graphical icons indicate that an article is digitally enriched. It can be a video icon, so you immediately realize that you can see the video if you press article and enter Article View. The same applies for photo galleries, audio files and PDFs.
Per Gylling is aiming to exploit the format's possibilities to the fullest, while maintaining the editorial overview that works so well in the print newspaper. "We want all readers to use Article View where we can give them an even better experience. Like introduce them to related "live" articles. But we also want to maintain the newspaper format with a defined start and end point. Our readers are happy with the print overview."