How Mediahuis manages to innovate in a sector under technology pressure

Mediahuis has 30 news brands in five countries and reaches over 1.7 million subscribers. Through various platforms, users have access to independent and reliable news at any moment. Last week, Fastfwd Belgium organised a Go&See Session at Mediahuis, where 6 speakers outlined the digital transformation of Mediahuis in the fields of product, sales, data and human resources.  

4 key takeaways stood out to us on how Mediahuis manages to keep innovating in a sector which is under constant pressure from technology. 

  1. Mediahuis’ main focus lays on the growth of their digital products.

Whilst 70% of their consumption still takes place in print, Mediahuis saw a strong increase in digital users during the pandemic. De Standaard, one of their national titles in Belgium already reaches more readers through their app than through print.  

Koen Meeusen about the right business model in a changing world

2. Innovating and experimenting with subscriptions and paywalls is vital.

Mediahuis have developed different subscription models to offer the perfect option for each and every costumer. Readers can choose if they want to receive the print version of their newspaper or if they prefer to go completely digital. Mediahuis‘ data has shown that digital subscribers are just as loyal as print subscribers. 

3. Digitalisation gives the news industry the possibility to create new products.

Besides from their apps and their websites, Mediahuis has explored other forms of media through formats including social media and audio. Podcasts were an exciting new step which took Mediahuis’ storytelling to the next level. In Belgium, 45,000 people listen to their podcasts and also interact with new formats like videos.  

A Mediahuis Podcast with Liesbeth Van Impe the chief editor of Het Nieuwsblad

4. Investing in high quality content is the most important task for Mediahuis.

On the internet where you can find an endless amount of news, Mediahuis stand out because of their excellent research and independence. Their editorial team work with 4 deadlines per day instead of the previous 1. This guarantees that their readers are always up to date with multiple edition publishing deadlines. At the same time, there is also a focus on longer research and giving editors more time to fully dive into topics.

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The process of digitalisation was the start of a new era at Mediahuis. This change required new jobs, new products, a new mindset and a new form of teamwork.

Thanks to Mediahuis for the great evening and the inspiring insights! We at Twipe are proud to be a partner in your digitalisation process.  

A special thanks goes to the speakers for sharing first-hand their work with us: Koen Verwee, Liesbeth van Impe, Kurt Minnen, Koen Meeuse, Jessica Bulthé and Martine Vandezande.  

We would also like to thank Fastfwd Belgium for making this event possible.  

Source: Fastfwd Belgium
Rieke Preuss
Business Development Intern

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