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Sweden's MittMedia shows how 'co-opetition' pays off

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World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

Sweden's MittMedia shows how 'co-opetition' pays off

With 28 newspapers and 19 news websites in the middle/north of Sweden, MittMedia is the largest local media group in the country.

In this interview, Sundgren and his colleague, Magnus Engström, head of data strategies and product manager, tell us what they look for in their strategic partners, how they work with data and some of the company's digital goals for 2019 and beyond.

Sundgren and Engström will also be speaking at WAN-IFRA's Newsroom Summit conference in late October in Oslo, Norway.

WAN-IFRA: What are a few of MittMedia's strategic partnerships and how do they work?

Thomas Sundgren: We have a lot of different partnerships and cooperations, mainly within the media sector. And the cooperations are various, spanning from developmental work, for instance with Swedish local media company VK, to shipping solutions straight off to other companies, like southern Sweden based media company 24 Journalistik.

We're partnering up with three other Swedish media companies (Norran Stampen and 24 Journalistik) on an e-learning platform for transformation of the competence of sales forces into digital advertising, There's a lot of interest from other media companies for that platform.

We've also been very happy to be in fruitful and rewarding talks with Norwegian companies Polaris and Amedia on data and tech infrastructure, comparing notes and sharing knowledge.

We're initiating and participating in sector cooperations when it comes to both digital subscription and digital advertising business.

For example, we're part of a network of media companies called Sveriges Lokalnyheter, where the partaking companies offer each others' paying customers all of their paid content, not charging extra.

In the network, we now offer over 40 local news destinations around Sweden for only 99 Swedish kronor (approximately 9.60 euros).

We're also shipping MittMedia solutions to other companies. The strongest interest at the moment is focused around Reacher, our platform and tool for digital marketing and sales, on which we've already boarded one Swedish media company and are in talks with others.

How have these partnerships helped MittMedia?

Partnerships and cooperations are contributing in many ways. First, on an overall level, its essential to strengthen the cooperation in the media business in Sweden and abroad if we´re to stand up to the risk of being overrun by global tech companies. MittMedia strongly believes that cooperation within the media business on actual solutions are necessary now and in the future.

For MittMedia on a more detailed level, it's important that we put our solutions to the test in cooperations for us, to be able to iterate them further. Also, to bring in revenue.

We're also learning a lot from our partners on business strategy and execution. Good partnerships simply give us invigorating input tand energy when it comes to development and business.

What qualities do you look for in strategic partner?

The possibility for us to contribute to a partner but also the ability in that partner to contribute to the Mittmedia strategy and business. It's a give and take.

Also it's very important, when partnering up, to align on certain basic strategical conclusions and execution of business.

But a partner doesn't have to be exactly the same as MittMedia.

On the contrary, we want to team up with companies that push us forward and inserts us with new thoughts, possibilities and energy.

That makes us interested in cooperating with not only local but national or international media companies as well as partners in completely different sectors than ours.

We want partnerships to challenge and possibly change the MittMedia status quo, our established mindsets and our ways of doing media business.

How has making use of data helped MittMedia?

Magnus Engström: MittMedia's entire digital strategy stands on the data models that we have created to drive product development and KPIs.

What has the introduction of GDPR meant for MittMedia's data strategy? Have you had to make significant changes because of it?

MittMedia's long term strategy is to build products and services that are used primarily by a logged in user base.

This means that GDPR compliance is built in by design, as we are able to inform user about the use of data in a clear way during the sign up process.

As for anonymous browser traffic, we only use data in an anonymous way and only prompt users to accept the usage of first part cookies.

What are a few of MittMedia's strategic goals in regards to data for the next year or so?

During 2019, MittMedia will work with alternative ways to produce and distribute content.

This is possible because of the unified data structure for content, with a production pipeline and a meta data model created for easy implementation of machine learning and new types of user interfaces.

Also, 2019 will lead MittMedia deeper into the strategic work focused on how to reduce subscription churn and how to increase user engagement. This is enabled through the extensive work being done on how to make the MittMedia eco system a individual experience for each user.

Author

Brian Veseling's picture

Brian Veseling

Date

2018-09-28 11:51

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