Digital business models, chances in the print market and looking at the broader picture

On May 29-30, 2017, more than 160 participants met at the Empire Riverside Hotel in Hamburg for the ppi Open Days to discuss latest developments and industry trends. Top-class speakers gave interesting presentations on their companies’ strategies and demonstrated how the challenges of an industry that is in flux can be met successfully.

Kiel, June 13, 2017. The ppi Open Days have been an established industry event for many years now, drawing guests from all parts of the world to Northern Germany in order to spend two days discussing developments, solution approaches and challenges facing the media industry. This year, there was a particular focus on digital revenue models, but the participants were also presented success stories from the print industry. Last but not least, international speakers gave insights into the Indian newspaper market and the Arab magazine industry.

Focus on digital strategies

One of the most pressing tasks for companies in the established print media industry is the creation of new digital revenue models and the development of sophisticated digital strategies. This is why Eric Dauphin, Executive manager of the Bremer Tageszeitungen AG, and his colleagues told participants of this year’s ppi Open Days about the digital strategy employed by the WESER-KURIER Media Group, and illustrated why digital markets are already mature and large enough to achieve relevant successes in them. In addition to that, the team from the Bremer Tageszeitungen AG introduced an app called “Mein Werder” and explained how the editorial system Content-X by ppi Media and Digital Collections has been incorporated into their agile project development as a central content hub.

Rainer Zimmer, managing director at Nordkurier Druck and head of IT services at the Nordkurier Media Group, had already introduced the Lokalfuchs initiative during his presentation the previous day. It is a portfolio of services and products aimed at strengthening local businesses. For instance, partners can push current offers via the Lokalfuchs app. Customers then redeem the offers through the app, they can review businesses and keep up to date with the latest news from the region. Lokalfuchs works with the integrated location-based online service “thanks” by ppi Media.

Another innovative presentation by Ute Becker, managing director at OWL-Digital, showed how the large extent of mobile media use poses both a chance and a challenge to publishers. ppi Media’s own Manuel Scheyda informed participants about the Design Thinking method and how this principle can help to quickly

develop new, relevant products. ppi Media offers workshops on Design Thinking as part of their so-called Innovation Camps run by the Strategy & Innovation department.

Opportunities for growth in the print market, soft skills and international insights

Frank Mahlberg, managing director of the BILD Print and the B.Z., demonstrated how, despite its current structural decline, even the print market can provide opportunities for growth. His presentation used the example of the sports paper FUSSBALL BILD to show how it is still possible to create successful new print products by focusing and specializing on relevant content.

An insight into the qualities of the falkemedia Group from Kiel, which focuses on so-called special interest magazines, was given by the company’s managing director Kassian Alexander Goukassian. His media company successfully meets the challenges of the modern media industry and has transformed itself from a traditional publisher into an agile media start-up by rethinking its structures and processes, introducing modern technologies and focusing on soft skills. Sandeep Gupta, executive president at Jagran Prakashan Ltd., gave participants important insights into the international media industry. He heads one of the most important large Indian publishers publishing one of the most widely-read dailies in the world, Dainik Jagran. The well-known journalist and editor-in-chief Mohammed Fahad Al- Harthi introduced participants to the international success story of the womens’ magazine Sayidaty, which is published in Arabic and in English.

ppi’s Open Days also included a talk by Claus Harders, the head of key account management at ppi Media, who presented the company’s latest product developments and customer projects, as well as a varied evening program for participating guests. Both the presentations as well as the evening program received excellent feedback from attendants, making the event yet another great success. The next ppi Open Days will take place from June 4-5, 2018.