Adeprimo was commissioned by Göteborgs-Posten (Gothenburg Post, or GP) and Media Västkusten AB (MBVK) to develop a system to charge for digital editorial content.
The last few years have been hard for newspaper groups, globally. Declining subscription numbers, plummeting advertising revenues and changing reader behavior have put the newspapers in a tough spot. Newspapers experienced a need to change their business models to be able to charge for their digital content.
GP and MBVK’s needed was to bundle the digital content across channels, to allow their paying customers to access content everywhere, on any device. Therefore, it was necessary to create a shared payment solution and single sign-on. The project focused on charging for content, not for the distribution form.
Up until now, all digitally published content had been free on both GP and MBVK sites. During the project, concerns were raised over to start charging for the content, and also about going from one subscription form to several. How would the users react and how would this affect print circulation and advertising?
To get everyone on the project to work toward the same goal, we started with a workshop to set the path and clarifying visions. The conclusion was that the product (later named PayWay), should be one of the means to reduce the circulation drop, attracting new target groups, offer added value and increase acceptance for paid digital content, thus increasing advertising sales and improving the newspapers finances. Quite a goal, right?
To do this, we needed to focus on the end customer. What could we do to be a larger part of their everyday life, increase the experienced value and get them to use more channels?
This included offering many different types of subscriptions, making the same content available digitally and create the same experience, regardless of the channel used by the customer. It also included the replacement of physical plastic loyalty cards to mobile ditos with digital offers, for a better VIP feeling.
We worked using the Scrum method, with regular demos for the customer on the project progress. We created personas for users and conducted regular tests with end users, both internal with those who would be using the administration backend and with those who would use the product for purchasing. Development was based on these hardcore needs, which created a very slimmed-down product.
Naturally, we stumbled over many technical and design challenges, as always in larger development projects. And although the timeframe was tight, we launched on time. This is much thanks to the product owner group, who had total control and made a great job in prioritizing the development.
“It is a part of our vision of making it easy for customers to use our products, as is giving our employees good tools to help customers – for both the printed newspaper or the digital one,” says Malin Stoldt at GP.
The result was an “online shop” for digital content and a new product in the Tulo family, PayWay. Developed specially for the media industry to make it easier for customers to buy products and to complete purchases online. PayWay includes bundling of the physical newspaper and digital products, processes for purchases and payments, transactions via credit card, invoices or SMS, links to the subscription system, single sign-on and administration tools for customer service.
• Traditional business models require adaptation to the internet.
• New technologies provide new definitions of who pays and who gets paid.
• Use the value of personal information – adapt and target communication based on user behaviour and needs.
• Experienced value increases acceptance for paying.
• The importance of working using Scrum and MVP, so that we always prioritise the right things in development, that it is needs-governed.
Göteborgs-Posten is the biggest morning paper in the west of Sweden, full of news from around the world, but always with an extra focus on Gothenburg and the west of Sweden. GP has a daily readership of more than 600,000 readers of the newspaper, on computers or tablets and mobiles. gp.se
Hallandsposten is Halland’s biggest and oldest newspaper, first issued on 30 July 1850. The newspaper is independently liberal in its editorials. Hallandsposten is available on paper, as an e-newspaper, on the internet and in mobiles and has a daily reach of 120,000 readers (Orvesto 2011). It is part of Mediebolaget Västkusten, MBVK. (Source: hallandsposten.se)
Hallands Nyheter has existed since 1905, and has been an important part of the regional inhabitants’ everyday lives. As a local paper (in Falkenberg and Varberg and their surroundings) the local news is most important. There are now more than 100,000 people who read Hallands Nyheter, as a paper, on the internet, in the mobile, on tablets, or as an e-newspaper. Part of Mediebolaget Västkusten, MBVK. (Source: hn.se)
Eskilstuna-Kuriren and Nya Lidköpings Tidningen have also chosen PayWay.
“The era of free reading is over. We want to be paid for the work we do. Be able to read it anywhere, at any time. It’s a matter of hygiene for us,” says Jörgen Bröms, head of digital development at Eskilstuna-Kuriren.
Semir Hasanbegovic, web manager at NLT, is in agreement. “Locally, we own something unique, news that is only ours. Good journalism costs and it’s natural to charge for it, whatever the channel readers choose to use. Because PayWay is continually developing we can be better at what we do.”
Jörgen also highlights the collaboration with other business groups as a decisive factor in why they chose PayWay. “There are so many issues that are shared. It’s excellent for the future development of the tool.”
We have so far launched PayWay to Göteborgs-Posten, Hallandsposten and Halland Nyheter, Eskilstuna-Kuriren, Södermanlands Nyheter, Katrineholms Kuriren, New Lidköpings-Tidningen, Västerbottens-Kuriren and Norran. Next up is Ålandstidningen and Mittmedia newspapers; Allehanda, Sundsvalls Tidning, Dagbladet Sundsvall, Dalarna Tidning, Dalademokraten, Hela Hälsingland, Gävle Dagblad, Arbetarbladet, Östersunds-Posten och Länstidningen are scheduled for launch this spring. Also Gota Media with its 11 newspaper launches in 2014-2015.