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Executive Report - By Thomas Baekdal - June 2019

The Inside Look at Zetland's Shift to Audio

I have a number of very interesting media companies who I have put on what I call my 'watch list'. These are companies that represent important trends in the market that I keep an eye-out for, and plan to spend more time analyzing.

One of those companies is the Danish newspaper Zetland.

Zetland is a very interesting news company for several reasons. First of all, it's part of the 'new age of news' where the way you define news is entirely different from what we see from the traditional publishers. But more than that, they have been able to change the way audio works for news publishers, and made it work in ways that are truly amazing.

To put this into perspective, here is a graph for the share consumption of each format.

We have seen many publishers try to do something with audio, but I have never seen anyone who has been able to do something like this. It's a crazy difference.

But it's not just that they are now doing audio. It's more that they have managed to combine the formats in such a way that it becomes one.

Note: I wrote about the larger trend around this in my previous Plus article called 'How audio is becoming the third great format for publishers'.

They have recently started selling their platform to other publishers. Their first sale was to a Swedish media company, and they are now looking to sell more. As part of this, they got in touch with me and basically said: "We are doing this thing, could we tell you more about this and show you our audience analytics?"

And I, of course, said: "Oh yes! Give me everything!"

So, this is what we are going to talk about in this Plus article.

I talked with CEO and co-founder, Jakob Moll, the Editor in Chief and co-founder Lea Korsgaard, and got extra input from Head of Audio and co-founder Hakon Mosbech, and Head of Product, Tav Klitgaard.

We are going to take a deep inside look at what makes Zetland work, including:

Sound interesting?

Please note: Before we start I want to make very clear that, as a media analyst, it's not my job to promote or to sell you their platform. That's not what this article is about. My role here is to give you insight into what I consider to be a very important trend in the media market as a whole.

Zetland, the new generation of news

Zetland is part of the new generation of media that understands that 'more' is no longer a business model, and that people are looking for something that works with a specific moment.

In the old days, newspapers lived in a world where the public didn't have news, and so your role as a publisher was to bring it to them. And in this market, the best publishers were those who were able to bring you the most news. In other words, the old market of media was like a supermarket.

However, today our supermarket is called the internet, and it is so big people can no longer find what they are looking for. The market for more content has peaked, and now we see a very clear trend where people feel that they have too much information, and that it is getting harder and harder to figure out what is actually worth looking at.

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What is Baekdal?

Baekdal is a magazine for media professionals, focusing on media analysis, trends, patterns, strategy, journalistic focus, and newsroom optimization. Since 2010, it has helped publishers in more than 40 countries, including big and small publishers like Condé Nast, Bonnier, Schibsted, NRC, and others, as well as companies like Google and Microsoft.

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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


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