What a year 2020 was! What started out in China as “a weak kind of flu” has changed our lives fundamentally. Our industry has continued to prove its valuable role in society while undergoing an accelerated digital transformation. On the bright side, reading digital editions has never been more popular. On our platform alone, we have seen 75% growth.
2021 is likely going to be the mirror image of 2020. We hope to be able to move away from fully remote business later this year, just in time to celebrate a memorable Twipe’s 10th anniversary & 4th edition of the Digital Growth Summit in the fall. But no matter what happens, our teams are more committed than ever to help publishers achieve their ambitious digital growth targets.
2020 – What a year!
2020 was the year of the comeback of the edition within the industry. Already in January 2020 we predicted this in our Future of News newsletter. Throughout the year reputable industry outlets and experts have indicated this strong trend.
Editions are instrumental in creating strong reading habits. Readers like editions because of the editorial curation, the habit forming structure and the finishability. Edition readers are reading 20-30 minutes each day. Our research suggests they willing to pay 2-3 times the price of premium access.
“ The replica still offers the best navigation experience in the industry. We have engineered and perfected this for hundreds of years. It is hard to find something better
Han-Menno Depeweg, Chief Digital Officer, NRC
Furthermore, a growing group of publishers face increasing challenges to deliver their print editions in far away or not densely populated areas. Digital print replicas appear to be a very strong instrument to retain many print readers and extend the subscription relationship. We will continue to study the importance these products play in building sustainable digital businesses and how we can build together the edition of the future.
A year of remarkable growth
In spite of challenges brought by the pandemic and within this context of growing interest in editons, 2020 was undoubtedly a year of remarkable growth at Twipe. We are proud to share some key figures:
- 75% annual increase versus 2019 in the number of editions downloaded from the Twipe platform
- 35% volume increase in pages viewed on the webapps
- 620,000 monthly active subscribers are reading their newspaper through our platform
- JAMES, our digital butler, served 200,000 readers with personalised and habit forming content every day
Our growth is the result of many ambitious initiatives and our ongoing strong collaborations with our customers:
- The launch of the Telegraph edition app, starting in February 2020
- The extra content discovery and free edition campaigns by publishers like Ouest-France and Le Monde in March 2020, in the midst of the first lockdown
- The increased discovery of digital reading during the lockdown
- The increased interest in quality news during the lockdown and the US elections
- The various initiatives by publishers in terms of bundling and promoting the edition within higher end subscription packages
All of these initiatives were powered by our dedicated product, customer success and technical teams that have kept our high standards of platform availability, speed and content processing. They have continued to develop new features and ongoing improvements to ensure our customers’ peace of mind. In 2020 we have deployed a total 676 releases in production.
We have also crossed a big geographical milestone at Twipe in 2020 and we proudly welcome our first US partner that will be announced shortly. We are very much looking forward to helping the US market grow their digital newspaper businesses.
Learning, innovation and co-developement
In 2020 we have continued our journey of innovation and co-development with many publishers:
- JAMES v1 went live with first launch partners, serving more than 200,000 readers a daily plate of personalised and habit forming content through automated newsletters
- Apps v4, the new generation of front-end applications, went live, bringing our NextGen reading experience to he next level
- 3 publishers have embarked with us on a journey to define and develop the next generation of our Replica Apps, with a first alpha version delivered in December 2020 and more promising developments in 2021
Our efforts to develop deep insights through research and share them with the industry have not been halted by the corona pandemic. Through our Future of News Hub, we published more than 50 blogposts and 1 research report on Habit Formation. Our webinars have attracted over 500 industry leaders (participants) from all over the world, with inspiring topics such as edition publishing, habit forming news products and company culture. In case you missed it, you can find here an overview of the 5 Most Read Articles of 2020.
This strong growth would not have been possible without the efforts of our talented and passionate team at Twipe. In 2020 we have strengthened our team by hiring 10 new Twipees. All areas of our organisation have been reinforced. Most importantly, our team has shown resilience and agility by rapidly adapting to a remote working environment.
In summary, with so many things accomplished, and challenges overcome, we feel we have further solidified our company as a robust scale-up in the media tech world and a strong business partner supporting publishers’ ongoing digital growth.
This year will mark the 10th anniversary of Twipe. We plan to celebrate this with the fourth edition of the Digital Growth Summit in the fall in Leuven. Sign up to be kept up to date as we plan to make this again a memorable event.
We are grateful and honoured to work closely together with so many innovative publishers during this sometimes harsh period. Let me thank you on behalf of all Twipees for your support and collaboration.
Let’s continue to build the future of news together.
Founder & CEO