How n-tv profits from innovation and lean content in Escenic

Online sites, apps, smart tv, smartwatches, connected cars and amazon echo. The German news company n-tv is present on almost any possible digital platform while constantly looking out for new innovative channels to explore. Escenic has asked Julia Wegeler, Digital Manager at n-tv, about their thoughts behind a first-mover digital strategy and how this is paying off.

Be there before the users
About n-tv
  • N-tv has reported news to the German people for over 20 years
  • They started out as a tv channel and have since expanded their empire on to a multitude of digital platforms
  • N-tv is part of the RTL media group

In 2009, n-tv started developing their news app for mobile. Back then, everyone was asking them: “Why? People just use the mobile site in the browser”. But when it finally became mainstream to have smartphones and use apps around 2012, n-tv had a huge advantage of already having a developed, tested and optimized app. It not only attracted many users but also advertisers.


Patient innovation

Constantly looking out for the next platform to board requires a lot of resources. And Julia Wegeler did admit that it is not all channels they have experimented with, which they have profited from. It takes a lot of patience, gut and belief to keep investing in a product without seeing a profit.

About Escenic A/S
  • Escenic delivers the digital publishing software that helps news publishers all over the world to tell their story.
  • With a fast and easy-organizable content management system, Escenic is behind millions of page impressions when consumers read news by Axel Springer, Funke Mediengruppe and Trinity Mirror, to name a few.
  • Escenic is a CCI company and is headquartered in Oslo, Norway.

But when one of these channels does succeed, the brand loyalty they earn from being the first ones on a platform is all worth it: “People stuck with us. They got used to the app… and they were not disappointed”, Julia Wegeler said. Now, out of all their digital channels, n-tv’s app gets the most clicks.


Lean content management for cross-media publishing

How does n-tv create and distribute content for so many digital channels? Put very simple, n-tv keeps it lean. N-tv has 55 content creators and editors, who write and organize all their content in Escenic’s CMS. All articles are only written once and then the editors pick and choose which elements from the articles to distribute on different channels.

On n-tv’s app, mobile and online site, the whole article is published. But on smartwatch, n-tv only shows the teaser. And on smart-tv, they mainly highlight videos. This means that n-tv saves time in Escenic, while still customizing their content to the different formats of the platforms.


‘Don’t lose your identity’

It may sound like a cheesy quote from a 90’s pop song but it is in fact what n-tv build their digital presence on. When asked about their digital strategy, Julia Wegeler answered: “We always say ‘maximise the reach but don’t lose your identity’”.

N-tv has a 20+ year history of delivering quality news to the German people, and both their tv station and digital channels are highly trusted by the users. More than half of n-tv’s website visits are direct visits. This means that their main traffic does not come from social media or search engines but from readers entering the actual URL because they specifically want news from n-tv. So when tempting tricks like clickbaiting come along, n-tv resists because they wouldn’t want to jeopardize their readers’ hard-earned trust.


Monetizing the strategy

N-tv’s business is mainly dependent on commercial ads. And the German news company’s dedication to maintain a strong identity pays off in terms of attracting advertisers and business partners. Due to their many loyal readers, commercial ads on n-tv’s platforms are in high demand: “Advertisers actually sometimes book the whole homepage for a day”, Julia Wegeler says.


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