When you compete with all the things a person can possibly do with their time you have to keep innovating

16 Nov 2020

Waldimar Pelser, Editor-in-Chief: Rapport, made this point at the Brunch with the Editors webinar, recently hosted by Ads24 for advertisers and marketers. He called on some of his colleagues to illustrate how they were working to stay ahead of the curve and keep their audiences engaged. Such innovations can develop vital third revenue streams to augment the traditional reader and advertiser revenue and provide advertisers with exciting new communication opportunities.

Neil Scott, Editor: Son, talked about bringing the title’s beloved agony aunt, Antie Mona, to a wider audience on VIA TV. Another extension of the brand’s reach had been achieved recently via a partnership with kykNET and the Suidoosterfees: Lag My Kla was the first online Afrikaans comedy competition. One of the finalists who was born in Wellington, now lives in Germany.

For Willem Jordaan, Editor: Die Burger, innovation is a way drive third stream revenue. He illustrated this with the example of Die Spens, a TV series developed with Food Lover’s Market. Iconic recipes were sourced from the publication’s rich archives and given an update in a cooking show, in which chefs and celebrities cooked together. So successful was this, that a second series is in development.

Food and nostalgia were the basis for the development of Komkommertyd, a recipe book for Beeld’s readers, by Beeld’s readers. They were asked to submit their favourite recipe, together with a photograph of themselves in the kitchen. Editor, Barnard Beukman, described the response as diverse, with readers from the salt of the earth to the more glamorous and affluent keen to share their recipes. A master chef oversaw the compilation of the book. Ad pages and sponsorships were integrated into the book; Beukman said that participating advertisers had been most satisfied with the results.

Netwerk24 has enjoyed exceptional growth: subscribers have increased by more than 200% over the last three years, while some 2 million people visit the site on a monthly basis. This has opened up great scope for experimentation. As Henriëtte Loubser, Editor-in-Chief: Netwerk24 explained the advantage of being digital is having access to an array of tools to engage one’s audience. Audio and video are an integral part of the news portal’s offering and are, in effect, generators of first stream revenue. Monthly audio books are popular with the October offering being Fiela se Kind. Last year Netwerk24 pioneered online soapies with Die Testament and are now broadcasting its third soapie, Duiwelspoort.

Innovation is certainly not confined to the field of entertainment: #MySkool was developed in the second quarter to support grade 12 learners through the pandemic and placed in front of the paywall to maximise its usefulness. Sponsored by Allan Gray, Sake en Sauvignon, is a well followed business discussion series at art festivals and during lockdown also online. Loubser believes the key is to remain open to new developments, suggesting that infographics could be replaced by 3D A.R.

Pelser highlighted the Media24 editors are committed to keeping their “readers, listeners and viewers” engaged and loyal. His colleague, Beukman, underscored the editors’ openness to all partnership proposals and their keenness to work to develop exciting and engaging content for their audiences.