Aftenposten customises print news for next generation

By Siri Holstad Johannessen and Andreas Finborud

Schibsted Norway

Oslo, Norway


Aftenposten is a proud news organisation dating back to 1860, when Christian Schibsted started the newspaper in the capital of Norway, Oslo. Throughout the years the newspaper has changed from being a regional newspaper into a significant national news brand. 

News media has always attracted a grown-up audience, but during the last decade there has been a clear trend of the average print newspaper reader getting older.

Aftenposten Junior meets the needs of an up-and-coming newspaper demographic.
Aftenposten Junior meets the needs of an up-and-coming newspaper demographic.

As our access to news sources increase drastically, we also see a demand in the market for high-quality and reliable journalism coming from trustworthy sources and familiar brands. At the same time, the increase in digital news sources on new platforms leads to a rejuvenation of the reader base as younger readers are exposed to news in ways that are more appealing to them than the traditional way.

However, we lacked a product for the next generation of readers. Fortunately for us, no one had thought of making a newspaper for children, and an unbroken market gave us the opportunity to develop a new and trustworthy product aimed at a new segment.

Norway has nearly 5.5 million inhabitants and about 400,000 are elementary school-aged children. The yearly private and public spending is US$25,000 per child on average. Aftenposten, or any Norwegian news media, has previously not taken part in this market.

Kids today have an enormous digital media consumption, often to their parents’ despair. Many children’s Web sites are made for entertainment and are not necessarily great for development. Furthermore, children consume news and information meant for grown-ups, presented in an unsuitable way. This can result in them being scared and feeling unsafe. Children are also easily influenced and have an expectation that information is true. But as we know, that is not always the case.

We recognised there was a demand for a trustworthy news brand for children, based on Aftenposten values, made by an editorial team that loved to communicate with kids.

The answer was Aftenposten Junior, a newspaper for children. It’s a newspaper made on the kids’ terms, based on their wishes and needs. The newspaper has a mix of Norwegian and international news, reports, sports, animals and pets, cartoons, quizzes, cooking, and science.

The kids and their parents were thrilled. Kids experienced a fun and interesting way of consuming news and insight into current topics. And, the parents were happy to see their children consume content on a non-digital platform.

The instant success of Aftenposten Junior led to an expansion of the brand. We didn’t just make a newspaper. Soon there was a sister newspaper in Schibsted’s SvD in Sweden. We have made a series of events about science, the environment, politics, and more. We have made special issues and a fantastic book project. And, we are planning further brand extensions.

Aftenposten Junior is a real success story, and it even surpasses Schibsted’s classified business in profitability. In five years, Aftenposten Junior has become Norway’s ninth-largest newspaper, and circulation numbers are still growing steadily.

As a bonus, the launch of Aftenposten Junior has continued to rejuvenate the way Aftenposten communicates as Aftenposten Junior has become a new, playful, and trustworthy news brand in a completely new market.

About Siri Holstad Johannessen and Andreas Finborud

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