Digital-first and Consumer-centered: Mediahuis’ Strategy for Success

October 26, 2021 – 3 min. read

A ‘change director’ is not a common job title you would find in a company organization chart. It’s the role Mediahuis’ Ezra Eeman has taken on to transform the international Belgian media company into a leading publishing group. Mediahuis operates in four countries with 30 news brands. Since it was founded in 2014, the publisher has already expanded more than four times its initial size, reaching 10 million readers daily and nearly two million subscribers. 

At our yearly user conference, CUE Days, Eeman explained there are two main drivers of the publisher’s evolution. The first component is the company’s ability to handle increased market demands or its scalability and secondly the change in consumer needs. “In order to stay relevant, we have to meet the expectations of our consumers, of our readers in new ways. Shifting away from paper to digital with the flexibility to be consumed when, where, and how our audiences want,” Eeman said. 

In order to keep up with the global digitization of news, Mediahuis established a multiyear digital transformation plan with a list of goals to accomplish by 2025. One of the most important aspects of the plan is to keep customers at the center of the work that the company produces. Eeman said, “Reliable journalism is at the heart of our organization. It’s what drives us forth and motivates us every day.” Along with that mission, Mediahuis wants to ensure it is offering the best mobile and audio experience, working the most efficient way in its newsrooms and maintaining a successful print model in a growing digital world. 

Keeping to that model, Mediahuis designed a publishing suite called “The Hub” that will be a “collection of services tailored and used by all news brands to create, publish, and monetize content.” An important objective in that strategy is a fully integrated CMS. That’s where the CUE publishing platform comes into play. Eeman said the company chose CUE because they wanted true digital and mobile-first workflows that created full responsive web experiences for readers. Mediahuis believes CUE is at the heart of its digital transformation. 

CUE allows the company to move toward a more consolidated landscape. With common standards and best practices, it makes sharing assets across Mediahuis’ 30 brands much simpler. Eeman said they want each of their brands to have its own distinct appearance and CUE provides that with its customization offerings and functionality. 

It’s not just technological changes that Mediahuis is adapting. Their multiyear digital transformation also includes shifting the way people work. Eeman says they’re adjusting to a digital-first workflow. “That means our print layouts and shapes should be simplified to allow for easier exporting,” Eeman said. Their team believes all the changes will result in more efficient work in the newsroom and exponential digital growth.