Diar's “coopetition” model increases subscriptions for Aller and Amedia

By Paula Felps


Nashville, Tennessee, USA


As the third-party cookie disappears, it creates both challenges and opportunities for publishers. Helene Slettemoen, director of insights at strategy at Norway’s Diar, demonstrated how the company has created a new model of collaboration between news companies — called coopetition — to leverage first-party data and boost revenue.

“Coopetition is the act of cooperation between competing companies by forming a strategic alliance designed to help both companies,” she explained. Through coopetition, two competing news media companies can both enjoy better advertising results.

In Norway, the digital ad spend is about US$1.4 billion, but more than half of the spending is programmatic spending. Much of this goes to Google and Facebook, leaving the 228 Norwegian publishers to split the rest of the pie.

“Norway is very close to being a world leader when it comes to newspaper reading,” Slettemoen said. “Nine in 10 Norwegians use digital news every week. And compared to other markets, we mostly read the news directly from the source and not from social media feeds or from search. We simply don’t trust them.”

Creating a competitive lift

Of those 228 publishers, Schibsted has the largest daily reach, followed by Amedia and Aller, respectively. By creating coopetition between Amedia and Aller, Diar has provided a lift for both.  

Norwegian readers are more likely to get their news from media companies and are willing to log in to access content.
Norwegian readers are more likely to get their news from media companies and are willing to log in to access content.

“Subscription newspapers have always had a strong position in the markets,” Slettemoen said. “As many as 42% are willing to pay to access digital news, and the implications of this are the publishers have access to first-party data on 15%-80% of their readers.”

The login for digital subscriptions is done through a telephone number, which in Norway is used as a legally binding identifier that is found in most public records and CRM databases. From there, Slettemoen said, it’s easy to find other public information such as income, wealth, home address, gender, vehicle, age, household size, property type, when they last changed their home address, and more.

By using this precise data, publishers can provide advertisers with probability-based targeting that will get better results. Those results improve even more when companies collaborate. 

“By joining forces in a coopetition, Diar has access to the login of readers at both Aller and Amedia, a total of 1.8 million registered user accounts across 130 Norwegian publishers,” she said.

Creating a better reach

This engaged Norwegian audience means advertisers have great potential to reach people, and Diar was designed to offer a stronger reach to two companies than either one could achieve separately. Slettemoen said Diar also offers a future-proof targeting solution because it is based on precise data, not the behavioural targeting methods used by third-party cookies. Diar also reports on the data, which allows advertisers to see the effectiveness of their campaigns.

Diar is seeing positive results after just one year of coopetition.
Diar is seeing positive results after just one year of coopetition.

One year after launching, Diar has seen the following results:

  • Interest and curiosity from advertisers and agencies which has given the company “great market traction and word of mouth.”

  • It is already recognised as a Norwegian alternative to multinational companies. “We are transparent, trustworthy, and local.”

  • As more advertisers and agencies understand its products and their potential, Diar is receiving more creative briefs.

  • Returning customers with a repeat purchase rate of 62%.

“By cooperating with competing companies, Diar has given regional publishers a stronger position for increased revenues in the digital ad markets,” Slettemoen said.

This case study originally appeared in the INMA report, The Guide to Smart Data Strategy in Media.

About Paula Felps

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