Value, relationships, habits underpin NTM’s reader revenue journey

By Jens Pettersson


Stockholm, Sweden


Value. Relationships. Habits.

These are the three strategic cornerstones for our work on reader revenue here at NTM in Sweden. All our efforts, all projects we start, all investments we decide upon — everything needs to be connected to those three words.

Since our conglomerate is kind of a late bloomer in digital reader revenue, we were in need of strategic clarity and simplicity to speed up. For us, these three words make it a lot easier to navigate all the amazing ideas that keep splashing up on the reader revenue windshield.

Focusing on reader value, relationships, and habits provided clarity for NTM.
Focusing on reader value, relationships, and habits provided clarity for NTM.

If you are a skilled B2C boss or a sharp head of editorial development with a great track record on increasing customer lifetime value, I suggest you stop reading here and spend time on more relevant pieces from INMA. But if you and your company are in the early phases of charging for journalism, welcome aboard!

The basic equation is simple: The more your subscribers use your journalism (and like it) the longer they will stay and the more money you will earn. So, if you want to boost the magic numbers on engagement and loyalty, one way is to focus on stuff like this, all centered around your customer.


What do you give your customer in return when they hand you money every month? Is the value proposition crystal clear? Are all of your marketing campaigns pointing in the right direction and telling the same story of your brand? Do you tell that story both to your potential customers and to your loved, loyal ones?

Internally, do all members of your newsroom know what you want to offer the subscriber? Do they know the role they play in that process?

Here at NTM, our 18 brands began that work late last year. It’s not as easy as it may seem. Of course, the most important part is involving your editors and reporters in that process. Create the “promise to the subscriber” together. Align and gain strength together.


Building long-lasting bonds is about much more than just getting the money and delivering the service. Your subscribers need to feel you honestly appreciate their interest for your product and your journalism. Giving a warm welcome from a genuine and trustworthy leader of the newsroom is much more appealing than just sending a receipt. If you set up a nice series of helpful onboarding e-mails, it’s much more likely that your newly won friend will want to hang out with you.

Providing tips is also very useful in helping subscribers discover all the different services and parts of your value offering. Surprisingly, they often haven’t discovered your great inventions.


To get the subscriber to return often, they need to like what you do. And they need to be reminded of your existence in a way they approve of.

Of course, you need to get your journalism on the right track, satisfying the needs of the audience by covering areas and subjects they like. This requires content analysis and hard work from editors.

Then you have to reach out from there effectively. Publish on the right day and time and distribute by using relevant push notifications and newsletters. In the best of worlds, you will become more precise and accurate by segmenting your readers and delivering the right stuff for the right reader.

Besides the journalism, of course you can add other content, like crosswords, puzzles, and sudoku. If your audience gets used to doing that kind of stuff on your site every morning or evening, that’s an excellent add on for strengthening the habit to use your brands offer.

About Jens Pettersson

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