In 2010, FinlandHelsingin Sanomat began creating content exclusively for its tablet edition. Six years later, the results offer insights into how tablet-specific content is providing valuable new audiences — and also demanding that traditionally print-oriented companies find new ways of measuring them to satisfy advertisers.

Advertisers are now learning how best to target users across multiple devices, and news media organisations need to be ready to respond.
Advertisers are now learning how best to target users across multiple devices, and news media organisations need to be ready to respond.

INMA: How are things going with your tablet-specific advertising efforts? Have you seen any changes or drawn any new conclusions?

Kottila: Tablet advertising is still doing awesome on its own, but we’ve also noticed a change in the market where advertisers prefer cross-screen advertising. So now we’re aiming at taking the learnings from tablet and extending those findings to smartphone and desktop advertising.

INMA: In your last blog post, you wrote about use of two new metrics: engagement percentage and time spent with the ad. Have you continued to track these two metrics? What do advertisers think of these new metrics and the tablet-specific advertising options?

Kottila: These two metrics are still the ones we use because it gives advertisers more insight into the campaign than just plain clicks or ad recall. Advertisers are keen to see these results as they give more insight on the campaign and the creative concept.

Engagement percentage tells what kind of things readers find interesting. Time spent of course tells how long readers spend with each ad and the brand, which is a useful insight when considering the brand impact of the ad.

Traditional newspaper metrics don't apply when it comes to knowing your tablet audience. Advertisers are quick to embrace new ways of measuring usage that are more valuable.
Traditional newspaper metrics don't apply when it comes to knowing your tablet audience. Advertisers are quick to embrace new ways of measuring usage that are more valuable.

INMA: Are you making any changes to this initiative moving forward?

Kottila: We are now extending these learnings to smartphones and desktop advertising because advertisers and users are now engaging with the same content using all kinds of devices. They don’t really make a distinction between devices when the content is the same.

Take, for example, Netflix: You watch the same content whatever device you are using. So why would it have differences in news content or ads?

INMA: What are your goals for the future of this programme?

Kottila: We are putting a lot of emphasis on cross-screen advertising in order to make digital advertising more simple. At the same time, we want to take all the learnings from tablet advertising in use when creating new cross-screen advertising solutions.

INMA: What advice would you give to other media companies with new innovations such as this? 

Kottila: Be bold and put all in when you see that something is working. And although you may find “the next big thing,” be ready to shift your course as things change quickly!