Print as vehicle for online growth

As expected, Netzeitung has a new owner yet again, now BV Deutsche Zeitungsholding a.k.a Montgomery. This private equity media empire builder has so far not shown any particular interest in developing online news, only traditional restructuring of established print businesses. So there’s no reason to be very optimistic on behalf of ex-colleagues. But it’s possible to speculate about what could be done. Because now actually for the first time Netzeitung is part of a company which has the marketing clout to produce the kind of audience growth it has always been looking for in its almost seven years’ existence. As I wrote at the time of the five year anniversary, the lack of a strong marketing partner makes you very lonely. Now the Berliner Zeitung and other newspapers in the group should be used to push Netzeitung and other online brands. There are enough examples showing how to do this. Right now Schibsted is using the print platform it has established through the free newspaper 20 Minutes in France and Spain to market their news and other websites there (apparently doing well in Spain). In Norway and Sweden they have for years done the same with their long-established newspapers (a strategy which is analyzed and applauded all over the place). And when a strong traffic presence has been reached, there’s always the possibility to create new online brands very quickly by channeling traffic to the news sites, which Schibsted has done with the E24 business sites in Norway and Sweden. The model exists, but will Montgomery implement it? Probably not, I’m afraid.

One thought on “Print as vehicle for online growth

  1. A challenge for Netzeitung’s new owner

    I’ve been holding off writing about Mecom’s newest acquisition, Netzeitung (still subject to regulatory approval), until Olav Anders Övrebö, media blogger and former Netzeitung journalist, added his perspectives to the fray. Though he’s not too optim…

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