Using Cross-Platform Digital Content Universes to Build and Grow Subscription Audiences
2021 Finalist

Using Cross-Platform Digital Content Universes to Build and Grow Subscription Audiences

Dagens Næringsliv

Oslo, Norway

Category Readership and Engagement

Media associated with this campaign

Overview of this campaign

Dagens Næringsliv (DN) is Norway’s oldest and most respected business and finance news outlet. The newspaper has been among Norway’s biggest publishers since the 1990s. We’ve a strong reputation for investigative journalism and a very respected weekend offering of high-quality feature and lifestyle journalism.


Following a strategic decision from 2018 to be ready for a print-less future by 2021, we completely restructured the organization in 2019, going from a traditional product-based structure to a more flexible organization. Another strategic decision was to refine our digital subscription product portfolio, going from one digital subscription to several different digital offerings. The new product portfolio is being launched in 2021. To keep current subscribers on the more expensive alternative, we must offer exclusive content. 


Topical journalism has a long newspaper history of existing on specific weekdays to provide predictable audiences for print advertisers. We rethought this idea and built digital “content universes” to engage users around specific topics across digital platforms. The topics selected should recruit new users, keep current subscribers loyal, and provide high-quality user segments for advertisers and commercial partners.


Audience research, analytics, and user interviews identified leadership and wine content as topics of high interest to large subsets of DN’s (prospective) users. These topics appeal to all DN’s professional target groups, no matter which industry they work in.


We came at this project from two angles, both building on well-know DN journalists as public profiles:

1) Transforming our respected wine journalist Merete Bø to an online persona with her own vibrant community

2) Showcasing our leadership op-ed-writer Eva Grinde, repackaging current management content from debate and features sections from print, and adding new experts, columns and distribution channels

Results for this campaign

DN Wine started in early 2020. Key steps:

1)      Build Merete Bø and DN Wine into a brand using video (on and a new podcast with comic and wine enthusiast Thomas Giertsen (free, recruiting new users)

2)      Premium content to convert free users to paying subscribers. Wine reviews – previously free – were put behind paywall.

3)      Add value, create loyalty: Personalized subscriber-only newsletter from Merete Bø, giving access to wine reviews two days earlier than the public

4)      Building a community and revenue by granting access to “the star” through wine webinars – for an additional fee


  • The weekly videos have contributed to DN’s video plays growth of 83% in 2020 vs 2019.
  • The podcast is top 50 in Norway in any category. It has more than 380.000 downloads since August.
  • Wine reviews converted > 1,000 subscribers in 2020. Preliminary analyses show that conversions from wine content have a 46% retention rate after 45 days, vs. an average 42% for all DN article conversions.
  • The newsletter has become one of DN’s biggest subscriber-only newsletters; 8,300 subscribers and an opening rate of 55%
  • Wine webinars attracted between 800 and 1700 paying participants each.


DN Leadership launched in summer 2020 as a content universe aimed at making Norway’s leaders better. It offers a combination of familiar DN content (column from Eva Grinde, interviews with well-known leaders, op-eds on leadership from academics and business leaders), a new advice column from organizational psychologists, a subscriber-only newsletter about leadership and an exclusive webinar offering to subscribers in collaboration with Harvard Business Review.

Results (year’s end):

  • 125.000 premium content pageviews, 300 subscriber conversions. Preliminary analyses indicate that subscriber retention for these subscribers is 48% after the first 45 days of subscription, vs. 41% for all topics.
  • 4,700 subscribers, 40% open rate on the newsletter
  • 4,500 participants attending four webinars – 80% say they’d participate again
  • High interest from commercial partners


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