It might be the key challenge for journalism in the digital era. How can publishers serve their customers with compelling content that is strong enough to turn users into loyal subscribers?
In order to support publishers in their efforts to increase reader revenue and explore new content formats tailored to user preferences dpa launched the project Performing Content in 2018. The initial results of pilot projects with various newsrooms are promising.
The international C-POP project, funded by the final round of the Google Digital News Innovation Fund takes the concept to the next level. How can news agencies and newspapers redefine their traditional workflow in a way that as many users, readers and viewers as possible can be reached and converted with the right stories?
„In cooperation with our Finnish agency partner STT and leading publishers like Funke Digital, Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung and the Sanoma group we will have the best conditions to try out new concepts and workflows to improve reader loyalty”, said Peter Kropsch, CEO and president of dpa.
Over the next months C-POP („Content Performance Optimization Program“) will develop an integrated news cycle in which publishers provide the agency with data on content performance and user preferences. The agency will in return supply the publishing partner with optimized stories in order to improve performance and increase usage and loyalty.
Which topics and formats will reach which target group in which context? Commuters prefer quick smartphone headlines on their way to the office riding a local train. On the other hand weekend newspaper readers prefer to consume long features or interviews on their tablet while relaxing on the sofa. Digital media services need to address these more and more heterogeneous needs and personalize content offerings based on preference and context.
The project partners expect the attractiveness of news media products to improve once publishers exchange usage data with optimized wire stories in an integrated process. So far news agencies had almost no access to performance data. Editors often deplored this state of blind flying. To replace this traditional mode of “fire and forget” by a feedback based response concept C-POP will focus on two aspects.
dpa as the project coordinator and the German newspaper partners Funke digital and NOZ digital will concentrate on increasing the technical intelligence of agency content by attaching new forms of machine readable meta data.
One new attribute that will be added to the agency output is the so called Lifetime Value. A breaking news story might soon be outdated while a brilliantly written service feature about spring flowers could be relevant and up to date even after months or years. Data shows that these Evergreen stories have the highest potential for moving readers into subscriptions or retain customers in the long run.
Finnish news agency STT and its national partners Sanoma and I-Mediat will care for the input part of the future news cycle. How can news agencies easily import the usage data provided by the publishers and process them in a way that editors can use them to produce best performing news stories?
The consortium is completed by MINDS International, the global innovation network of news agencies, and the IPTC, which secures technical standards for the news industry.
Chief Digital Officer
LinkedIn: Meinolf Ellers