Pål Nedregrotten, Executive Vice President at Amedia
Norwegian media house Amedia has succeeded in growing its digital subscription base considerably but needed a system that could support further digital transition and more efficient use of journalistic resources.
"In 2019, we migrated all our media to CUE, and the best quantifiable feedback I can give is that we are still growing measured by all relevant parameters: reach, reader-engagement, and the number of digital subscribers. Looking at the numbers, everything points in the right direction," explains Pål Nedregotten, Executive Vice President in charge of Innovation, Business Development, and Strategical Analysis at Amedia.
Growth through local journalism and consistent analytics
With 75 local papers and websites, Amedia is the largest regional news publisher in Norway. The company’s outlets reach more than 2.2 million Norwegians or more than half of the adult population each day. Even more impressive, though, is the fact that Amedia has succeeded in increasing the number of digital subscribers— fast approaching 300,000 —for six years in a row.
Amedia's 75 newspaper locations
"Our business model is pretty straightforward: we publish stories that matter to local communities across Norway. Journalism is at the core of our DNA because creating the right journalism is key to delivering local value. At least as important, though, is the continuous analytics that helps us develop and tweak our content to deliver what readers appreciate—definitely not to be confused with clickbait-journalism," Pål Nedregotten underscores.
CMS-migration was mission-critical
Amedia has been growing its digital business since 2014 through a combination of continuous and sustained effort into local journalism and through powerful analytics. But the old content management system was unable to keep up.
“Therefore, it was mission-critical to migrate to a modern, more flexible and scalable solution that could be used across all 75 publications," Pål Nedregotten explains.
“"We wanted to enable our journalists to use their time and creativity to tell interesting and compelling stories, not to grapple with cumbersome IT-systems."”
Executive Vice President, Amedia
"Furthermore, we needed to be more agile as a company and much better able to support the creation of content through more efficient workflows and easier cooperation. In short, we wanted to enable our journalists to use their time and creativity to tell interesting and compelling stories, not to grapple with cumbersome IT-systems," he adds.
"We have taken a step into the modern world"
Amedia chose CUE as the successor to the older system, as CUE is a modern, more flexible, browser-based solution with an HTML-based framework. Furthermore, the two systems shared several technical similarities which eased the migration-process to a certain extent.
“We are not completely out of the woods yet. But we are undoubtedly in a happier place now than a year ago," Pål Nedregotten says.
"We have taken a step into the modern world. Much of the rigidity of the old system—and a lot of the tech-dependencies—are history. Furthermore, CUE supports the creation of content such as text, video, and multimedia to a larger degree. Perhaps of equal importance is that CUE offers the flexibility to integrate our own services into the journalists’ workflow—e.g. automatic classification and tag suggestions, as well as a host of other, future integrations—a sore spot in the old system,” he says.
“During 2020, I expect that CUE will be one of the important elements in our digital transition and help us push our business forward through scalability and rapid iteration. That is an important element in our journey to become an even more agile and flexible organization – and to put us in an even better position to grow reach and engagement from readers," Pål Nedregotten concludes.