Personalised Year Review for Subscribers of Süddeutsche Zeitung
2024 Finalist

Personalised Year Review for Subscribers of Süddeutsche Zeitung

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Munich, Germany

Category Readership and Engagement

Media associated with this campaign

Overview of this campaign

The personalised year-in-review for the subscribers of Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) emerged from the collaborative efforts of the SZ Innovation Lab and the Analytics team. Originating from a one-day hackathon, the project garnered such enthusiasm that it seamlessly transitioned from idea to implementation. This indicates that the SZ Jahresrückblick represents more than just a distinctive experience for subscribers but also represents an initiative that goes beyond traditional publishing boundaries. 

The SZ Jahresrückblick is the celebration of a shared year through focus on partnership rather than customer relationships. The enhancement of relationships with our subscribers is achieved through a personalized year-in-review, providing readers with detailed analyses of their reading preferences, such as their favorite articles and their top 10 preferred topics of 2023.  

Subscribers gain insights into their habits with a detailed exploration, while also having the option to share and receive badges for notable achievements, like being in the top 1% of those who have read the most articles. This gamification element adds a fun and engaging dimension to their reading experience. 

Due to the long-term nature of retention goals and the delayed availability of relevant metrics such as retention and churn rates, our project emphasizes the immediate evaluation of engagement metrics.  

Notably, we also ensure data privacy by summarizing habits only for those subscribers who granted the explicit permission throughout the year. We also provide a FAQ section to address key questions about the project. 

Results for this campaign

The release of the SZ Jahresrückblick in early December 2023 garnered significant reader interest. Across seven categories, subscribers received an evaluation of their reading year with SZ, providing a comprehensive overview of their engagement. We raised awareness about the project among our subscribers through mailings, newsletters, and social media ads and posts. 

This project demonstrated remarkable user engagement: 75% of the subscribers who visited the year review page generated their personal year-in-review. Overall, this resulted in 10% of all eligible subscribers, those who had been with us long enough and actively consented to data processing to generate a review, having used the feature. 

Furthermore, the click-through rates on recommended articles consistently outperform those of our automatic recommendations, falling between 10% and 15%. 

The ability to create social cards for sharing personalized insights from overall reading time to favorite articles, enhanced user engagement, generated attention, and attracted new readers to explore our offerings. We saw a sharing rate which was relatively high compared to the usual article sharing rates we see on our platforms. 

The most impactful days for the content were on December 6th, coinciding with its launch, and December 9th, boosted by the newsletter distribution. The project was so successful that we intend to continue it in 2024.

The year review can be found at, however you need a valid SZ Subscription to generate a personalised year review.


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