Monday, February 19, 2007

News from Norway: online success

A newspaper publisher in Norway is finding financial success online, according to this business report from The New York Times. The company is Schibsted in Oslo. Noting how well things are going for this newspaper company, a Harvard business professor is making a case study of it. Says the professor:
“There’s no question they managed this transition earlier than a lot of newspaper companies, and they’re in a better position as a result.”

Besides investing aggressively in online for a decade, the publisher brought in non-newspaper managers from a business consulting firm who were willing to sacrifice sacred cows if that was necessary. Said one:
“The main thing they have done is to recognize that the consumer is king.”

Of course there are special circumstances in Norway. Schibsted dominates the online market and includes a successful classified site in its arsenal. And Norway has the highest newspaper readership in the world, so readers trusted the brand when it went online.

The Harvard professor, Bharat N. Anand, wonders: Can this success be exported?
“The big question is, ‘Is this a repeatable success, or is it a very good 10-year run?’ And how far can it travel outside Scandinavia?”

1 comment:

DavidLauderdale said...

The overwhelming impression at the VG site is how VISUAL it is. Love the VG TV. By comparison, most American newspaper Web sites are tedious.