update as of 22.11.2022
Speakers bio are available here
NOVEMBER 23 WEDNESDAY
13:00 Welcoming the group to London
venue: 20 Mercer Street, London, WC2H 9HD
Check-in at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street Hotel
13:30 Transfer to Independent Digital News and Media
14:00 Kick-off & Introduction to the UK market, players and strategies.
venue: Independent Digital News and Media – Alphabeta Building 14-18 Finsbury Square London EC2A 1AH
Over the past two years, the UK’s national newspapers have continued to diversify their business models with a greater emphasis on subscription, registration and online membership. The Daily Telegraph has accumulated over 500,000 digital subscribers, followed by the Times and Sunday Times with around 400,000 subscribers, partly boosted by the war in Ukraine. In March, the Financial Times announced that it had reached 1 million digital subscribers, more than half of whom were from outside the UK. In an effort to make its journalism more accessible, it launched a low-cost stand-alone mobile app with a hand-picked selection of articles, FT Edit. Within the New UK group, the number of digital subscribers to The Times and The Sunday Times, including The Times Literary Supplement, stood at 445,000 at 30 June 2022, up from 374,000 the previous year, and The Sun’s digital offering reached around 165 million global monthly unique users in June 2022, up from 124 million the previous year. At the same time, The Guardian claims more than one million paying digital readers who subscribe to its apps or make recurring donations. Local and regional publishers have seen higher than expected digital advertising revenues in 2021. In March 2022, Newsquest’s acquisition of Archant is the latest major move in a regional market that confirms a phase of consolidation and operational optimisation. At the meeting of the British press, we called upon the expertise of three renowned media professionals, associate consultants of WAN-IFRA. Alan Hunter, Jeremy Clifford and Michael Brunt will be our experts during our stay.
Speakers Alan Hunter Co-founder, HBM Advisory / Jeremy Clifford, Editor in Chief. Editorial coach / Michael Brunt, Co-founder HBM Advisory
15:00 The Independent
venue: Alphabeta Building 14-18 Finsbury Square London EC2A 1AH
Independent Digital News and Media has reported a record operating profit of £5.5 million for the financial year 2021, up 103% year-on-year and 139% over two years. This is the fifth consecutive year of profit growth for The Independent. The title has been profitable every year since the closure of its print edition in March 2016, while continuing its editorial investment strategy by increasing its editorial teams by more than 50% over the past four years. With the future of third-party cookies in question, The Independent said it had invested in acquiring first-party data through an “anonymous to known” strategy for reader engagement – which it said had doubled the number of registrations on the site to 1.8 million and increased reader revenue by 39%. Other diversifications, including investment in the Indy Best e-commerce section and the launch of Independent TV, have seen the company predict that it will achieve “its long-standing target of more than half of revenue from non-advertising sources” this financial year. The company said it now wants to build on its organic growth by “pursuing strategic acquisition opportunities”. These will likely focus on sales automation, data and fulfilment solutions to complement its current market-leading business. The Independent has more than doubled its operating profit in 2021 and is now looking at new acquisition opportunities. Which priorities does The Independent see the most potential in?
- Independent Ventures (eCom and Independent TV) – Christian Broughton, Managing Director
- Digital development projects from a product and technical perspective – Chris Corderoy, CTO
- Commercial diversification into off-platform revenues – Sophie Hanbury, Licensing and Syndication Director
- Data and reader revenue strategy – balancing ad revenues with subscriptions in an attention recession – Jo Holdaway, Chief Data & Marketing Officer
16:30 Transfer to Northcliffe House
17:00 The i paper
venue: Northcliffe House, 2 Derry St, London W8 5HY
The i was launched on 26 October 2010 with a team of three. It was then a printed spin-off of The Independent. Its website inews.co.uk only followed in April 2016. Ten years after its launch, the brand, which then had a team of 85 journalists, was reaching 8.7 million readers a month and 835,000 a day in print and online. The editorial bias: to see itself as the antidote to political propaganda, media bias and above all information overload. With success: it is consistently rated as one of the most trusted newspaper brands by Pamco, on a par with the Guardian with a trust rating of over 80%. The relatively low-cost base for a national newspaper has resulted in significant profits for its successive owners. It was sold by ESI Media to Johnston Press for £24m in 2016 and then to Mail publisher DMGT for £49.6m in 2019. By 2020, three quarters of the i’s revenue will come directly from readers, through newsstand sales, print subscriptions and its apps, one a replica of the paper and the other, launched in 2019, publishing online editions at 12 noon, noon and 5pm, modelled on the Times. Oly Duff, who at 39 remains the youngest editor of a British national newspaper, shared the lessons he has learned from the last decade: “Learning what to stop doing is the first lesson: we didn’t get rid of some poor ideas fast enough. Second, never take the conversation and relationship with readers for granted. They need constant attention, love and care – and show readers that they shape your publications.” Two years ago, Oly Duff said: “Print will thrive longer than we think. Is he just as confident today and what are his plans for digital development?
Speaker: Oliver Duff, Editor-in-Chief, The I newspaper
18:30 Return to the Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street Hotel
20:00 Dinner at Ochre (National Gallery, Trafalgar Square London, WC2N 5DN)
NOVEMBER 24 THURSDAY
08:30 The Financial Times
venue: Bracken House 1 Friday Street, London EC4M 9BT
The FT’s digital subscription was first launched in 2002. In 2007, the FT introduced a metered paywall in 2007. In 2015 it moved to the current paid trial model, offering readers a four-week trial at £1 before asking them to subscribe. Digital reader revenues now equal all other FT revenue streams combined, and the print version continues to be profitable. In March this year, the Financial Times announced that it had reached 1 million digital-only subscribers. The second UK title to pass the one million digital subscriber mark, although more than half of its subscribers are based outside the UK, the FT has no intention of stopping there and launched a new discounted subscription app, FT Edit, and now plans to expand beyond its traditional customer base with new products and formats aimed at non-business readers.
Speakers: Lisa MacLeod, Principal Publishing Lead, FT Strategies | Aled John, Deputy Managing Director, FT Strategies | Malcolm Moore, Executive Editor, The Financial Times
10:00 Transfer to Tortoise Media
10:30 Tortoise Media. Becoming an audio-first publisher: what, why and how?
venue: 22 Berners St, London W1T 3LP
Founded in 2018 by former Times editor and BBC news director James Harding, Tortoise aims to deliver “open journalism” through a “new kind of newsroom”. The publisher, whose motto is “Slow down – Wise Up”, launched its first podcast at the end of 2019, a weekly investigative programme exploring the behind-the-scenes stories behind the headlines. Now the publisher is developing additional revenue streams for readers with subscriber-only podcasts designed to bolster its existing base of 55,000 paying subscribers. In our interview with the Tortoise team, we discuss why Tortoise decided to go audio, what changes it has required behind the scenes, and how they are building their audience through audio. New forms of storytelling adapted to the audio format, the new opportunities it presents for engagement with subscribers and its monetisation models.
Speakers: Alice Sandelson, Head of Strategic Growth, Audio at Tortoise Media / Basia Cummings, Editor Tortoise Studios (United Kingdom) / Jasper Corbett, Executive Editor Tortoise Media (United Kingdom)
11:30 Transfer to Canada Square
12:30 Lunch with David Higgerson, Chief Digital Publisher, Reach PLC at The Pearson Room (2nd Floor, 16-19 Canada Square, Canary Wharf)
13:30 How Reach is building a strategy to monetise its relationship with its audiences that does not rely on paid content.
venue: One Canada Square, London E14 5AP
Reach plc, Britain’s largest commercial publisher, publishes over 100 local titles alongside national titles Mirror, Daily Express and Daily Star. 2022 is shaping up to be a pivotal year after the record year of 2021. Ten months ahead of schedule, Reach plc announces ten million registered users on its platforms and believes it is on track to double its digital revenues by the end of 2024. In the first quarter of 2022, the group’s digital revenues continued to grow, up 10.4% year-on-year. But faced with a slowdown in UK consumption and pressure on prices and raw materials, its print business contracted by almost 4%, resulting in a 1.6% fall in overall revenue in the first half (£297.4m). We will explore how Reach plans to accelerate its digital growth despite the adverse general economic conditions affecting the entire UK regional press and making it even more risky to rely on reader revenues from digital subscriptions.
Speaker: David Higgerson, Chief Digital Publisher, Reach plc | Piers North, Chief Revenue Officer, Reach plc
14:30 Transfer to News UK
15:00 The Times & The Sunday Times, News UK
venue: 1 London Bridge Street, London SE1 9GF
At the end of the first half of 2022, The Times and The Sunday Times, including The Times Literary Supplement, had some 445,000 digital subscribers, up from 374,000 the previous year. Among the topics we will discuss with The Times teams are their strategy for personalising content to meet consumer demands, how editorial teams are exploiting the wealth of audience data they face, and their initiatives to reach new audiences through social networks while preserving its valuable print audience.
16:30 Transfer to Telegraph Media Group
17:00 Telegraph Media Group
venue: 111 Buckingham P. Rd London SW1 0DT
Editorial product development strategy, converting audience data into content, newsroom organisation, new roles, and new skills.
Speakers: Ben Clissit, Managing Editor / Mathias Douchet, Director of Product
18:00 Transfer to LSE
18:30 Sizing up your Artificial Intelligence activities
venue: Fawcett House, London School of Economics, Clement’s Inn, London WC2A 2AZ (Silverstone Room)
To consider Artificial Intelligence a ‘trend’ is an understatement: AI is being adopted as a technology across a wide swathe of society, and the press is not lacking. JournalismAI, at the London School of Economics’ Polis ThinkTank, is the perfect place to take stock of the state of AI in the press. How are publishers using artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing and other algorithms for automation? What is the impact of AI on journalism? For what benefit? JournalismAI was launched in 2019 to inform and educate the news media about the opportunities offered by AI-powered technologies and to foster debate about the editorial, ethical and financial implications of using AI in journalism.
Speaker: Charlie Beckett, Director of Polis and the JournalismAI project, London School of Economics.
19:30 Return to the hotel
20:30: dinner at The Blacks Club (67 Dean Street, Soho)
NOVEMBER 25 FRIDAY
09:00 How advertising and subscriptions support each other
Venue: Ozone, 20 St Thomas Street, London SE1 9RS
Ozone runs the UK’s first commercial alliance of publishers. We’ll be there for a morning dedicated to advertising revenues, the complex relationship with the adtech ecosystem, and industry initiatives to address ad signal loss, device ID and third-party cookie depreciation, and business innovation in a privacy-by-design ecosystem. In an exchange with Ozone’s teams, and a panel of guests from leading UK market players, we will take stock of the most current and talked about issues in our industry, and the opportunities they create for advertisers and publishers – from user identity and success metrics to first party data and attention metrics.
Strategic Briefing (9:15 – 10:00)
The session will be led by Danny Spears, Chief Operating Officer of Ozone, with speakers from publisher partners (both UK publishers and other international alliance partners).
How publishers can create maximum value from their data and inventory by taking more control of it. Key themes in this session will include collaboration, AI, data leakage, identity and privacy.
The Global Adtech Market (10:00 – 10:45)
This session will be led by an external speaker and will focus on interactivity and Q&A at the end of the initial presentation. Key themes of this session will include platforms, regulation, impact on publishers and emerging technologies (including Web 3.0).
Sustainability of the adtech ecosystem (11:00-11:45)
This session will cover the sustainability of the advertising ecosystem in its broadest sense, and the role of publishers in creating a more responsible digital advertising ecosystem.
Speaker: Danny Spears, Chief Operating Officer, The Ozone Project
12:00 Transfer to Chancery Lane
12:30 Lunch at Luce e Limoni (91-93 Gray’s Inn Road, Chancery Lane)
13:30 Business models, products and services on mobile applications
venue: Pugpig, 17-21 Emerald St, London WC1N3QN
Speakers: Jonny Kaldor, Co-founder and CEO, Pugpig / Kevin Anderson, Director Consulting Services at Pugpig, United Kingdom
14:30 Transfer to Guardian News & Media
15:00 The Guardian News & Media
venue: Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU
The Guardian has surpassed one million digital subscribers, with a 13% increase in the US and Australia over the previous year. Well known for its mixed subscription and membership model, the Guardian’s challenge is to secure recurring reader revenues, which it has increased by almost 90% in just three years. In our interviews with the Guardian’s management, we will discuss the bridging role between editorial and analytics, the optimisation of performance-based dashboards and the key operational indicators to be considered. We will also explore how the title manages premium access and free content, particularly on its mobile applications.
Speaker: Mariot Chauvin Director of Engineering, The Guardian
17:00 End of the programme
Return to Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street Hotel or transfer to airport/station of departure