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Tamedia increased digital subscribers 42% in 2020

By Marc Isler

Tamedia

Zurich, Switzerland

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In the past year, the Swiss national media company Tamedia increased its number of digital subscribers in German- and French-speaking Switzerland, reaching more than 120,000 by the end of November 2020. This marked a striking increase of 42% and, combined with print, the media company now has 2% more paying readers than the year before.

Tamedia traces its roots back to the renowned daily newspaper Tages-Anzeiger, founded in 1893. Today a leading private media company with a wide range of established newspapers and magazines, Tamedia employs 1,800 people in German- and French-speaking Switzerland and comprises the biggest editorial network across the country.   

Many of Tamedia's daily newspapers saw a dramatic increase in digital subscriptions in the past year.
Many of Tamedia's daily newspapers saw a dramatic increase in digital subscriptions in the past year.

Viewed individually, several daily newspapers saw a dramatic increase in their digital subscriptions. They were:

  • 24 heures (34%)
  • Berner Zeitung (51%)
  • Der Bund (36%)
  • Tages-Anzeiger (45%)
  • Tribune de Genève (51%)
  • Basler Zeitung (107%)

In addition, the Zurich regional newspapers Der Landbote, Zürichsee-Zeitung, and Zürcher Unterländer each increased the number of digital subscriptions by at least one-third or more.

Digital growth compensates for print decline

Despite the decline in print subscriptions, most Tamedia media titles were able to slightly increase the number of subscribers overall — print and digital combined — within the last 12 months. Tages-Anzeiger was the strongest with a 9% increase. In addition, the traditional Geneva-based newspaper Tribune de Genève also succeeded in slightly increasing its total paying readership by 7%. 

The growth is mainly driven by a strong interest in editorial content. This underscores the continued high demand for information, but also the great demand for high-quality journalism.

An interactive dashboard tracking COVID-19 cases has helped boost popularity of Tamedia's digital offerings.
An interactive dashboard tracking COVID-19 cases has helped boost popularity of Tamedia's digital offerings.

The interactive dashboard on the development of COVID-19 in Switzerland, knowledge and service articles on the coronavirus, and coverage of the Black Lives Matter protests in the United States and their impact on Switzerland achieved particularly high reach in German-speaking Switzerland from April to June 2020. Reports on climate change also reached a considerable audience. 

Technology provides more readership options

In recent years, Tamedia has invested heavily in its technological infrastructure and new digital offerings and continues to do so in order to further enhance its journalism. This supports the growing mobile readership and has helped increase the number of digital subscriptions.

For example, all Web sites and apps were given a complete overhaul in 2020, the editorial process was converted to “mobile first,” and a new modular digital subscription portfolio was developed. The menu of options now includes an e-paper, access with 10 devices instead of three, and an ad-free solution. Users have the option of testing the basic model and the additional options free of charge for 30 days.

Furthermore, the check-out process was greatly simplified from 17 clicks to just three clicks, and a team for active user journey management was created to make full use of marketing automation. 

The ongoing goal is to increase the number of digital subscriptions by 35% annually to be able to finance quality journalism in the long term. The next year will see additional offers and features unveiled to continue strengthening this digital position.

About Marc Isler

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