How a German news publisher doubled its digital subscribers in a year

2021-10-29. As reader revenue becomes vital to news publishers around the world, the value of addressing specific audiences rather than general ones is increasingly clear.

by Brian Veseling | October 29, 2021

Two key questions for publishers, then, become: which audiences should they address and how should they go about it?

During the past year, Germany’s Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger (KStA) began answering these questions for themselves.

Owned by DuMont, a regional publisher based in Cologne, which publishes several news products, KStA is a daily print newspaper and web publication. In 2019, they launched a paid content product called KStA PLUS.
Re-focusing on audiences
In October 2020, KStA joined the Table Stakes Europe programme, and between September 2020 and August 2021 they doubled the number of their digital subscribers.

Designed primarily for local and regional news organisations, Table Stakes is a programme to help drive digital revenue growth by re-focusing on audiences.

About to begin its third year in Europe, it is a collaboration between WAN-IFRA and Table Stakes architect Doug Smith in partnership with the Google News Initiative Digital Growth Program.

“During the Table Stakes project, we really broadened our view about our audience,” Sophie Rohringer, Audience & Analytics Manager for DuMont, told participants during WAN-IFRA’s recent Digital Media Europe conference.

“Over the last 12 months we adopted the mini-publishing concept,” she said. “We built editorial teams for specific audiences. We addressed them with different products. And we started to look at our readers not only as one big group of anonymous readers, but to really segment them and li...

Keen to read more? This content is exclusively available to our WAN-IFRA Members. If you believe your company is already a member, or you'd like to join in a personal capacity, please contact If you're a media journalist please reach out to

Share via
Copy link