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Ask the experts: How publishers are organizing their reader revenue teams

, product, marketing… Bridge roles, squads, mission teams, forums, stakeholders… Acquisition, , retention… There's certainly a lot to consider when organizing your teams. And with digital transformation comes to the need to reconsider siloed teams to ensure everyone's working together, cross-functionally (yes, we're talking to you editorial!) towards new goals, including acquiring and retaining subscribers rather than simply searching for clicks.

To help how other are organizing their reader revenue teams, we spoke to 5 publishers on their team structure, KPIs and how this links to their overarching business model.

Le Figaro

Laurent Suply, from , shared that their team is divided into two divisions. The ‘Content side' team works on the tools used to publish and distribute all types of article (whether editorial or advertising). Their role is to generate an audience.

Alongside this is a ‘Reader side' team. They work on converting anonymous users into paying subscribers, and includes the classic marketing teams, as well as Data and Product Management.

Le Figaro team structure

DIE ZEIT

Jannick Weißel, Director of Marketing, builds his teams based on steps in the funnel – Reach, Acquisition, Retention and Upsell. Each team includes a representative from the more traditional teams – Marketing, Data, Editorial and Product.

die zeit team structure
die zeit team structure

These Mission Teams meet every second week to share ideas and build a priority list with the biggest projects that need collaborative thinking to generate more business success.

This priority list is then presented to a so-called advisory board (members of the management board) every 3-4 months in order to align on the most important strategic cross-functional projects.

Clarín

According to the book “Clarín, updated” by Ismael Nafria, the editorial team at is divided into 4 areas, with an editor-in-chief for each. 3 of these have the primary goal of creating content for and (both acquisition and retention) whilst the 4th works on content to attract the biggest possible audience.

  • Politics, Economy, World and print
  • Society, Sports, Shows and Zones
  • Loyalty: “sections with high impact on subscribers whose contents are not linked to urgent news”
  • Mass audience: includes breaking news, SEO, social networks, cover art, video and photography, among other sections

According to the chief editor, Ricardo Kirschbaum, this revised working structure helps them pursue the goal of “increasing the quality and originality of their publication”.

Clarin team structure

> Ismael dives deeper into this topic in his article, “Decisive notes” – The articles that convert for Argentina's Clarín

Gonzalo Abascal, the secretary general of editorial, completed this with information on how these teams link to subscription teams

  • The Product Owner (PO) is in a , in charge of communicating to the stake holders the developments that have been made, those that are ongoing and those to come. Their priority is the product roadmap for digital subscriptions, accompanied by the Scrum Master and IT/UX development
  • Each development or improvement has its own KPIs. But at a general level, each area has quarterly, half-yearly and annual objectives. Among which there are minimum, average and maximum targets and these are related to: Number of users registered on the site; Number of users browsing logged in; Number of new subscribers; Number of subscribers browsing logged in; % of subscriptions; Revenue per registered user (non-subscriber) and revenue per subscriber; Total revenue from subscriptions; etc.
  • Squads are generated to address certain developments or issues. For example: if you want to develop a new functionality in the news site, you create a squad in which the PO, after an analysis with the BI team, prioritizes the task and the UX team together with IT, develop the required functionality and launch it to production as quickly as possible. Then the main KPIs and feedback from users who used the new functionality are evaluated through NPS measurements.

Berlingske

The Danish current affairs publisher is composed of 4 titles – Berlingske, B.T., Weedkendavisen and Euroinvestor – but with only a single marketing, advertising and IT team across the 4. In terms of reader revenue teams, all editorial, audience and IT staff now work in the same room to create physical connections and ideas sharing.

Audience heads regularly meet with editorial heads, analytics specialists and product managers from each title to identify where solutions can be scaled across the organization, focusing on what drives traffic and registration.

Berlingske team structure

Le Parisien

At the Parisien.fr, teams are organized into 3 squads:

  • Audience: with KPIs being visits to news content, visits to non-news and log-in rate 
  • Subscription: KPIs are conversion rate and number of subscribers
  • Revenue: focusing on e-commerce and developing CA

The “Apps” squad lies across the audience and subscription teams.

Le Parisien team structure

Interested in sharing your team's organization? Or have further questions for our interviewees? Add a comment below or contact [email protected]