World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

#WPE14: Opening session: Know your users and why they come to you

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

#WPE14: Opening session: Know your users and why they come to you

In the keynote presentation, Frank Volmer, Managing Director of Telegraaf Media Groep in the Netherlands (at left in picture), 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 De Telegraaf is also working to build its business and drive innovation through five key cornerstones: innovative journalism; video; services; data and new money.

Furthermore, he said De Telegraaf is looking to build advertising revenues by creating opportunities for even very small businesses that would allow their ads to run only in their town or local area.

He also pointed to the success that De Telegraaf has had with automated trading, or real-time bidding (RTB). “We are very successful with that,” 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 percent 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 (at right in photo) 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 (centre in photo). The paper, a leading national daily, has content-sharing agreements with Der Spiegel of Germany and The Guardian of the U.K.

Between 7,000 and 8,000 visitors are expected to visit the 200-plus exhibitors during 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.


Brian Veseling's picture

Brian Veseling


2014-10-13 16:34

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The World Editors Forum is the organisation within the World Association of Newspapers devoted to newspaper editors worldwide. The Editors Weblog (, launched in January 2004, is a WEF initiative designed to facilitate the diffusion of information relevant to newspapers and their editors.

World Publishing Expo & Digital Content Expo

The leading exhibition for technology to publish news on mobile, in print and online, featuring the two free conferences – Digital Media World & Print World – plus expert Guided Tours.

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