World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

The key to a greater digital audience might be simpler than most think

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

The key to a greater digital audience might be simpler than most think

With all the humming and hawing that has gone into ‘cracking’ the formula which can provide growth in digital media, Hilegunn Soldal, Digital Editor of Norwegian tabloid, Dagbladet, explains how the paper stumbled upon something that seemed so obvious no-one had thought of it.

“The real development and growth for Dagbladet, didn’t come from flashier graphics or more sensational stories” says Soldal. “The one thing that saw figures shoot up was when they refined their system which gave the mobile app a much faster loading time”

Discovering this was not as easy as it might first seem. As Soldal notes, this has come from years of trial and error in a medium which is constantly in flux: “Minute by minute we were changing [the style of] our homepage. It’s never the same. We changed something, and did something which is far from normal, but it was a huge success. We started shifting the adverts around in the layout and users started acknowledging them, rather than just ignoring them. But that was in 2008; things are different now because almost everything’s on mobile.”

But Soldal believes there can be a way to bringing in – and maintaining – regular viewers: “Every time you get a peak in social media, you can get some of them to stay and keep coming back to your homepage. We’ve been going for 20 years and we’ve built the brand and created habits, and I think that’s key: creating habits. So people will keep coming back to your homepage, but that’s constantly changing so we have to keep on adapting to the changes and people’s needs, and to stay ahead of our competitors.”

And this turnaround, Soldal was also quick to note, is one of the keys to maintaining share in the media market: “If you look at the Norwegian newsrooms they are ten, fifteen minutes faster than the NYT or the Guradian. We have to compete with the broadcasters, and we have to be faster than them. We can have on person running out into the field with livefeeds, and this has changed how people consume news.”



Calum Stuart


2014-11-18 16:55

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