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Gruner + Jahr developed a whitelabel platform to grow subscriptions

How we partnered with G+J to make the launch of digital subscription products more affordable and reduce the time-to-market for smaller brands

The challenge

Gruner + Jahr (G+J) is one of the leading premium magazine publishers in Europe, based in Hamburg, Germany. As part of the organization’s strategic goal to build new revenue streams, G+J wanted to develop special interest digital subscription products all with their own distinguished branding on a whitelabel platform. The goal of this initiative was to evaluate if the platform can enable smaller brands to launch a brand compliant, digital subscription product with a short time-to market at reduced costs in order to make it affordable to them. The platform is a result of a collaboration between Google and G+J.

The whitelabel platform enables us to build and test premium subscriptions for general interest brands and special interest brands taking advantage of a short time-to-market. This gives us the flexibility to continually expand, adapt, and challenge our subscription products.
Jana Gerhard
Digital Media Director Product, Gruner + Jahr
  • 10% more free-trial users committed to paid subscriptions
  • 75% reduction in time-to-market for new subscription products
  • 128% decrease in cost per brand for launching a new subscription product

The results

G+J’s subscription strategy had so far primarily been applied to general news content. At the end of this initiative, G+J had launched paid products for Capital (finance & economy) and GEO (popular science & nature), brands which did not previously have a digital subscription offering. Due to the platform’s technical capacities, the team time spent on developing digital paid products decreased to a huge extent. G+J was able to launch two new paid products in three to five months. Previously a similar launch would have taken at least 12 months to be fully implemented. The development of a new homepage structure, including an updated feature bar added to the overall attractiveness of the product which showed a positive impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty. In-turn the design improvement encouraged more users who were already trialing the subscription product for free, to commit to paid subscriptions. The new digital premium subscription products helped to grow G+J’s digital revenue streams by opening up further revenue opportunities for smaller brands and providing a good proof of concept to expand the platform across more of the portfolio.

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