January 12, 2024

Providing a reliable app experience to the Stuttgarter Zeitung readers

About Stuttgarter Zeitung

Stuttgarter Zeitung (StZ) is a popular German-language newspaper published in Stuttgart, Germany. It has a daily circulation of about 120,000 copies. StZ covers local, national, and international news, appealing to a broad audience.

Südwestdeutsche Medienholding (SWMH), StZ’s parent company, manages an extensive network of brands in the German media sector. This network includes 17 distinct newspaper brands and over 150 specialised publications, with a presence in more than 30 locations across Germany and abroad. Its total print circulation exceeds 300,000 copies, with a growing digital subscriber base of over 170,000. SWMH partnered with Twipe in 2023 to create modern, engaging news apps and experiences for 18 of SWMH’s titles.

In our partnership with Twipe, it was crucial to include a clear understanding of the product’s future direction. We needed to know the roadmap and the steps we would take to improve the product over time. A user- and product-centric approach with our partner was fundamental in evolving our product.

Gregor Zoller, Director of IT, SWMH

Highlight features used in the installation

  • NextGen automated workflow: An automatic matching of articles from the Replica edition feed to Modern edition templates.
  • Web modules (puzzles, search): Customisable web modules which allows for the addition of extra features within the app.
  • Vouchers in the WebApp: A vouchers systems that allows SWMH’s customer support to give temporary access to the webapp to those with an access code.
  • Interstitials: A Google Ad Manager integration that allows for the placement of ads in the Replica edition.
  • EngageReaders: An analytics tools which helps editors take data-driven decisions on the performance of articles in their eEdition.

What does the Stuttgarter Zeitung want to achieve with their news app?

  1. Enhance Editorial Efficiency: Optimise the editorial process by automating the production of their app’s NextGen edition.
  2. Ensure Uninterrupted Subscriber Access: Provide print subscribers with immediate, effortless digital access to content during print delivery interruptions to ensure a satisfied customer.  
  3. Optimise Ad Integration for Revenue and Experience: Seamlessly integrate full-page interstitial advertisements into the digital newspaper in a way that generates revenue while preserving a high-quality reader experience.

Why choose Twipe?

Peace of mind was essential for us: having a partner on whom we could rely for operational support, product development, and future progress. This partnership required a clear understanding of the product’s future developments, roadmap, and steps to achieve a better product in the long term.

Gregor Zoller, Director of IT, SWMH

Peace-of-mind: Twipe’s reliability was a key factor for SWMH – knowing that the editions will be published every day with no delay while ensuring both operational support and long-term product development.

Flexibility in Content Display: Twipe’s solution catered to the specific needs of SWMH, including maintaining the ‘modern view’ and laying the foundation for a unified app in the future. The functional and visual design of the apps, developed after extensive data analysis by Twipe, focused on the readers’ key needs on digital platforms. The goal was to consistently improve the reading experience and attract more readers to digital platforms.

Clear Product Vision: The user-centric approach and well-defined roadmap for product development by Twipe, combined with opportunities for co-development, aligned perfectly with SWMH’s vision for the future. Features like individual user messaging via push notifications, integration of advertisement interstitials for optimal ad sales, image galleries, and a read-aloud function enhance user engagement without compromising the premium reading experience.

Operational Efficiency: Twipe’s platform solution simplified the management of multiple digital products for SWMH, bolstering operational efficiency through regular, focused project management meetings.

The new e-paper designed by Twipe offers a smooth user experience, top-notch stability, a modern, minimalist design, and optimised overall performance for seamless reading.

Key actions and results for this installation

1. Action: Implemented an automatic workflow that imports articles from the Replica edition and assigns them to templates based on pre-defined rules, except for the cover pages, which editors format.

Result: This innovation is poised to significantly reduce the editorial time required to create and publish a NextGen edition.

2. Action: Collaborated with SWMH to develop a feature enabling customer service to generate temporary digital access vouchers for subscribers missing their physical newspapers.

Result: This solution maintains reader habits and satisfaction by providing immediate online access, thereby preserving the daily reading experience.

3. Action: Over three months, we co-developed a solution with SWMH using Google Ad Manager, tailored to fit seamlessly into the Replica edition app. The ads adjust to device orientation and type, ensuring a fluid reading experience.

Result: This strategic ad integration maintains a premium reading experience while efficiently serving targeted advertisements, balancing user experience with monetisation needs.

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