Building A Wine Content Universe to Build and Grow Subscription Audiences
Media associated with this campaign
Overview of this campaign
Dagens Næringsliv (DN) is Norway’s most respected business news outlet. We’ve a reputation for investigative journalism and a popular weekend offering of high-quality feature and lifestyle journalism.
Following a strategy from 2018 to become ready for a print-less future by 2021, we restructured the organization in 2019 from a traditional product-based organizational structure to a more flexible organization. We wanted our reporting not to fit the pages, but to fit our audience.
Analytics showed that wine reporter Merete Bø, one of the world’s top “wine noses”, was among the bylines with the most digital followers. For a financial newspaper, this was surprising. Also, '"food and wine" was among the topics that appealed to a large subset of our readership.
We had a specialist, and we knew we had an audience. Could we create something worth paying for? We went from having a wine column in print to having a digital universe in 4 steps:
1) BUILD A BRAND
Every week we had a free video at dn.no of Merete Bø recommending one specific wine. To reach outside our own digital users, we created the podcast “I don’t know anything about wine” in collaboration with Norwegian comedian Thomas Giertsen, also a sommelier.
2) CONVERT INTO PAYING USERS
We started putting wine reviews behind paywall, resulting in one of the highest average conversion rates in DN. Over 1000 new subscribers converted in 2020 frome wine reviews.
3) ADD VALUE TO MAKE SUBSCRIBERS STAY
We gained subscribers. Would they stay? To add value, we created a personalized newsletter for subscribers. You get wine recommendations before they are published. The wines she recommends sell out quickly, so this “inside information” is valuable.
4) LET THE COMMUNITY HANG OUT WITH THE STAR (FOR A PREMIUM FEE)
Our wine-interested audience is keen to connect with Merete, so we made a series of live wine tasting webinars that required additional payment. They quickly became popular.
Results for this campaign
- The weekly video series has contributed strongly to DN seeing a video plays growth of 82% in 2020 compared to 2019.
- The wine podcast now is top 50 in Norway in any category. It has had more than 380.000 downloads since the launch in August 2020.
- Putting the weekly wine reviews behind paywall converted more than 1000 new DN subscribers in 2020. Preliminary analyses show that subscribers converting from wine content have a 46% retention rate after 45 days, vs. an average of 42% for all DN.no article conversions.
- The newsletter has become one of DN’s biggest subscriber only newsletters with 8300 subscribers and an opening rate of 55%
- The wine webinars have attracted between 800 and 1700 paying participants each.
We took something that had always been there, and turned it into something new and unique:
Our wine journalism grew from a column in the Saturday paper into a content universe across a whole range of products – and made subscribers pay and stay.
Now, we apply this approach to other parts of our niche journalism to grow both our audience and subscriptions (see nomination for best initiative to retain subscribers).