SvD launches disruptive new product Kompakt in 8 months

By Inanna Lallerstedt

SvD Kompakt

Stockholm, Sweden


By Johan Silfversten Bergman

SvD Kompakt

Stockholm, Sweden


Like many news organisations, SvD is navigating the challenge of engaging with new and younger audiences and building relationships with individuals who are beginning to opt out of the news cycle altogether.

But what if we could create a new type of news product? A more approachable product battling news anxiety and news avoidance with a calmer and more friendly tone of voice? A product with concise updates catering to readers looking to spend less time on their phones while still staying informed?

With these ambitions in mind, we started to create what would become SvD Kompakt, and in only eight months, we managed to build and launch an entirely new news service.

Reading SvD Kompakt requires a free subscription and since launching in September 2023, we have gained more than 30,000 subscribers. So far, an impressive 60% of the sign-ups are completely new to us.

The style and tone of SvD Kompakt is more personal than many other news offerings. Our aim is to blend the quirky and friendly design of the product with the journalistic voice to introduce a fresh approach to writing the news. With a distinctive tone, our editorial team guides readers through the news with a friendly and approachable presence.

SvD Kompakt introduced a fresh approach to the news, with the editorial team guiding readers through the news with a friendly and approachable presence.
SvD Kompakt introduced a fresh approach to the news, with the editorial team guiding readers through the news with a friendly and approachable presence.

Four essentials for innovation

Transitioning from concept to launch in such a short time frame was challenging, yet we’ve pinpointed four crucial factors that enabled the success of this project.

  • A precise definition of the problem. This gave us a clear starting point. In this case, the challenge was to create a free but logged-in product aimed at reaching new users.
  • Truly cross-functional collaboration. We gathered editorial, product, UX, tech, business, and marketing in a task force to tackle the defined problem together, with all team members having an equal say.
  • Continuous user obsession. We surveyed 450 users, conducted 30 in-depth user interviews and also did a beta launch of the product where we had daily surveys with 10 users during five days.
  • An agile approach with clear deadlines. This meant that within our exploratory problem-solving process, we also set deadlines that pushed us forward and allowed us to deliver on time. 

Launching toward improvement

A key goal of SvD Kompakt was not just to introduce a new news service but also to foster a culture of self-improvement and become better at challenging ourselves. An important lesson has been not to end up in the “launch and leave” trap but to create space for continuous work after launch.

The launch is only the first iteration, and that is when the real work begins. Once user volumes increase, it’s crucial to keep testing and pushing the product’s boundaries to keep growing and reaching new readers.

After the launch, the user feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive, with comments like: “I already love SvD Kompakt. Finally, I can read the news without getting an unpleasant knot in my stomach” or “It’s a fun and different way of reading the news.”

Reflecting on the feedback received, we think that SvD Kompakt is headed in the right direction. It is possible to be a positive change in a landscape of increasing news opt-out. Pushing the boundaries of what a news service can be and making us even more determined in our belief that journalism is too important to be boring.

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