I am always leery of reports that point to a “Scandinavian miracle” (or a “Massachusetts miracle” or what have you). But a December 2007 NAA Growing Audience report has some valuable details about how Schibsted Media, the Scandinavian publishing giant with additional properties in France, Spain and Switzerland, has begun to remake itself for the digital age.
The report, by David LaFontaine, says Schibsted sees up to 60 percent of 2008 revenues might come from interactive — vastly higher than the 8 percent to 10 percent contribution made to U.S. newspaper revenues (and perhaps overstated, or concerning just one or two markets). Key to its online revenues is its ability to keep its newspapers as destinations, rather than relying on Google. Ninety percent of the traffic to VG.no, for instance, comes directly to the site due to its hosting of a robust search engine and addition of video, social media and mobile apps.
About 38 percent of adults read the print edition, but almost 50 percent of the Norwegian market uses a VG product — print, online or mobile — every day. “Our target is to pass 60 percent,” CEO Kjell Aamot told LaFontaine. “We call that building an audience, even though we’re slowly, slowly eroding our print audience.”