Editor’s note: This is one of 17 case studies featured in INMA’s strategic report “Making Big Data Smarter For Media Companies,” released in December.

In 2014, Media24 began using Big Data to expand its audience. It did so by plotting audience purchasing power against econometric variables and by mapping population trends to its subscriber base to find audience gaps, says Trent Clarke, chief information officer for Media24. 

Media24 has also looked into maximising its revenue-per-reader by using models that plot reader retention and enabling it to reduce discounts to loyal readers, Clarke says.

The company uses data to track successful content and to target ads to readers. It has plotted trends to better understand the trade-off among: 

  • Circulation price increases. 

  • Circulation volume. 

  • Advertising price increases.

  • Advertising volume.

  • Profitability. 

Media24 is careful to ensure the safety of user data and to comply with privacy laws. And in areas where it tracks users, it also tries also to offer compensation, such as targeted content.

Because its data efforts are relatively new, Clarke says, it is too early to confirm the economic advantage of its methods. But already the company has found that one data experiment — using text analytics to understand themes in its content over time — did not immediately reveal significant actionable information. 

Clarke sees ample opportunities for the expanded use of data over time.

“Digitally this is a big market,” he says. “As we consider the e-commerce value chain, the more we know of the interests and behaviours of our readers, the more we can provide the best sales opportunities.”