Nordic media companies choose vertical SaaS, best-of-breed tech options

By Jan Thoresen

Labrador CMS

Oslo, Norway


Nordic media companies are changing. At the heart of this transformation is the adoption of vertical SaaS (software as a service) and best-of-breed strategies.

Companies like Roxen, Kilkaya, Sesamy, Mimir by Fonn Group, and Labrador CMS are part of this trend, offering hosted cloud solutions that accelerate development in media groups.

Nordic media companies are using a variety of strategies to address tech needs.
Nordic media companies are using a variety of strategies to address tech needs.

Vertical SaaS: customised tech for the media industry

A wave of innovations is coming through vertical SaaS in our industry. Unlike traditional, one-size-fits-all SaaS solutions, vertical SaaS offers tailoured, industry-specific functionality for media.

This approach is particularly beneficial for media companies seeking solutions that cater to unique challenges such as content curation, real-time analytics, and multi-platform distribution.

Best-of-breed strategy: optimising the media tech stack

Embracing the best-of-breed philosophy means selecting the most efficient tools for each aspect of the media tech stack. This approach allows media companies to cherry-pick solutions that offer specialised functionalities, creating a customised, high-performance tech ecosystem.

It’s about leveraging microservices and APIs for seamless integration, ensuring each component of the stack communicates fluidly and efficiently.

A deeper look at Nordic innovators

Roxen’s modular approach

Roxen is a Swedish platform for ultra-efficient print automation. It offers modular components that integrate seamlessly with existing tech stacks, enhancing both print and digital publishing efficiency. It is used by Aftonbladet and Philadelphia Inquirer.

Kilkaya’s data-driven edge

With a focus on fast and lightweight Big Data and analytics, Kilkaya is a Norwegian solution offering deep, yet live, insights. It utilises data visualisation to transform raw data into actionable strategies in the newsroom or subscription department. These are the former LinkPulse guys. It is used by Suddeutsche Zeitung and Berlingske.

Sesamy’s micro-transaction model

The Swedish paywall Sesamy excels in content monetisation, offering APIs that integrate micro-transaction capabilities into existing platforms. While a micro-transaction won’t get you rich, it might get you a lead for a full conversion. It is built by the people behind the podcast platform Acast.

Fonn Group’s Mimir platform

This company from Norway is a game changer in media asset management. This cloud-based solution is designed to streamline the way media companies handle, store, and retrieve digital assets, especially video. Mimir’s powerful AI capabilities, including optical character recognition (OCR) and facial recognition, automate the production of video. It is used by NRK and DPA.

Labrador CMS and AI-driven content management

At Labrador CMS, we leverage AI to enhance every aspect of content management. Our platform is designed to integrate seamlessly with other solutions, providing a holistic, efficient, and adaptive system for media companies. As a visual and headless system that journalists love, we are growing fast outside the Nordics. Our platform is used by TV2 Norway and Dagbladet and 260 online newspapers.

The future of media tech: integration and specialisation

For Web developers and tech professionals in the media industry, this means an exciting era of building and managing more efficient, effective, and tailoured tech ecosystems. The adoption of these strategies will not only streamline operations but also foster innovation, setting new standards in the global media technology landscape.

When considering the adoption of vertical SaaS and best-of-breed solutions, one needs to evaluate the total cost of ownership (TOC) comprehensively. These models can offer significant cost benefits:

  • Reduced initial investment: Vertical SaaS solutions often require lower upfront investment compared to traditional, comprehensive software systems.
  • Scalability: These solutions can scale up or down based on demand, preventing over-investment in under-utilised resources.
  • Maintenance and updates: With service providers managing maintenance and updates, there are significant savings on internal IT resources and infrastructure. The core is self-updating.
  • Integration costs: Best-of-breed solutions, while offering superior functionality, may involve integration costs. However, the long-term efficiency gains and performance improvements can outweigh these initial expenses. And the vendors will probably do the job for you.
  • Operational efficiency: Enhanced operational efficiency can lead to cost savings in content creation, distribution, and marketing.

There are some new ways to clean up our tech spaghetti now. You might want to look to the Nordics.

About Jan Thoresen

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