Scandinavian media companies collaborate on tech, freeing up resources for quality journalism

By Jan Thoresen

Labrador CMS

Oslo, Norway


Media houses are losing traffic from Google and Facebook due to algorithm changes. Additionally, AI is starting to provide search results directly, further reducing site visits. Ad revenues are down, and the demand for new, faster AI tools to create content is growing.

Meanwhile, outdated technology systems are expensive to maintain and hinder innovation. We must free our tech teams from these burdens to unlock their creative potential and elevate journalism.

When media companies work together in areas that pose a challenge, it increases the odds that they can all survive and thrive in the digital age.
When media companies work together in areas that pose a challenge, it increases the odds that they can all survive and thrive in the digital age.

Facing industry-wide issues

Revenues are declining as traditional ads no longer deliver the CPM (cost per thousand impressions) they once did. Attracting and retaining digital subscribers is increasingly difficult, and high churn rates are damaging the bottom line. Building and maintaining media technology is costly and complex. Even with dedicated teams, creating effective systems is challenging.

I talk with media houses all over the world every day. One spent three years on building a new system, only to be left with technical debt and a semi-functional product when their lead developer departed. They are stuck with years of technical debt and probably knew this was always wrong.

The importance of technology

Technology can change news publishing by automating mundane tasks and speeding up content delivery and production. However, many editors see technology as a barrier rather than a facilitator.

Editors want creative freedom, the ability to quickly update front pages with breaking news, and smooth, engaging storytelling for long-form pieces. Yet, their requests often get stuck in an ever-growing backlog as Big Tech advances.

A call for cooperation

What if we could cooperate on the industry’s biggest tech challenges and share solutions with competitors?

We started this journey more than 10 years ago with Aller Media and competitor Story House Egmont to join forces in creating Labrador CMS. We faced numerous obstacles together, but one simple change made all the difference: We stopped selling hours and started building features that multiple publishers could use. By trusting in economies of scale, we developed better, more cost-effective systems.

The benefits of cooperation

By sharing technology, media houses can reduce operational costs and focus on real problems like improving data layers, fine-tuning AI models, optimising sales funnels, and reducing churn. This cooperative approach is not only efficient but also sustainable. It ensures all publishers, regardless of size, can survive and thrive in the digital age.

Success stories from the field

One-hundred publishers across 12 countries have joined forces to utilise the Labrador CMS online newspaper platform on more than 300 online newspapers. This initiative underscores a powerful principle: While competition in content remains fierce, collaboration on technology can lead to transformative success.

Nordic Media houses like and, Medier24, and are traditionally fierce competitors. However, they are working together on technological advancements. This collaboration is sustainable and frees up resources for quality journalism.

Industry voices on collaboration

At the Media Days in Bergen, Vibeke Fürst Haugen, head of broadcasting, emphasised the importance of healthy content competition while advocating for shared technological tools. Similarly, Pål Nedregotten, NRK’s technology director, highlighted the benefits of industry-wide collaboration on specific tech projects. Leaders from Schibsted and Bonnier News, two of Scandinavia’s leading newspaper publishers, echoed this sentiment at the INMA News Media World Congress in London in 2024, advocating for buying rather than building tech solutions.

About Jan Thoresen

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