Success of Mediahuis, the major media company in Belgium, is based on determined innovating its print offering.
“We no longer think about newspapers today,” says Mediahuis CEO Gert Ysebaert. “We only think of news brands. We are developing deeper eco-systems that connect with our consumers 24/7, and the printed newspaper remains an important part of the strategy.”
Mediahuis is therefore making significant efforts to convert single copy purchases to subscription. It has already achieved an 80% subscription rate and aiming for even higher.
Excite and create engagement
According to the CEO, Mediahuis’ success has been by innovating its print offering through new designs, better print quality and the launch of several weekend magazines with niche content.
“Our strategy has been to excite and create engagement through our print channels but also to consider all other media as well including digital. In fact, we are working towards a digital first approach for news in terms of content creation.”
Still – moments of serendipity
Ysebaert is clear however that Mediahuis’ print portfolio will not diminish any time yet. Looking at the new cross-media landscape and new technologies, Ysebaert is clear on his views of what benefits print offers: “Print is about disconnection. With everyone connected digitally via their smartphones or tablets, print offers that lean back time. We don’t want them to leave that inspiring article or tough political comment never to return because they have been distracted by something online – reading should be a moment of serendipity!”
- With powerful news brands such as De Standaard, Het Nieuwsblad/ De Gentenaar, Gazet van Antwerpen and Het Belang van Limburg
- Mediahuis is the largest newspaper group in Belgium.
- Mediahuis sells over 550,000 copies of its newspapers on a daily base. The digital Mediahuis’ news brands reache over 1.3 million news consumers each day.
- Mediahuis strongly believes in independent journalism and powerful news brands giving a positive contribution to society.
Text Will Stone