Bratislava, Slovakia, March 15 , 2012 – Piano Media Slovenia generated more than €26,000 revenue with its online common-payment subscription system after its first month in operation. Slovenia is the second country where the Slovak-based European company has launched its unique online media payment system. Nine publishers put their news and magazine websites into Piano’s system in January 2012 to generate online subscription revenue from Slovenia’s internet-savvy readership.
“Piano has proven it can be successful in markets beyond Slovakia,” Piano Media’s Chief Executive Tomáš Bella said. “We are obtaining 37% more revenue per capita in Slovenia than Slovakia.” He noted that the biggest website in Slovenia typically attracts about 300,000 daily readers compared with more than 1.6 million on Slovakia’s largest site.
“Slovene Piano publishers are earning more than €1,500 per 100,000 users as compared to just over €1,100 in Slovakia,” said Bella. “If you consider that most websites were free one month earlier then these are really great results,” he continued. “In fact, some publishers were able to earn more than €3,000 per 100,000 users. We attribute this increase to our experience from Slovakia. We have learned how to really fine-tune Piano’s system.” Piano provides paid-content know-how to participating publishers, maximizing online subscription revenue.
Even though Slovene publishers are only putting a small minority of their content in Piano’s system, it has already generated publishers much-needed additional revenue.
Slovenia’s publishers were among the first to contact Piano after the May 2011 launch of the Slovak system. Six months of negotiations brought the Slovene project to fruition. However, the Slovene market is more fragmented than Slovakia; publishers are more regionally diverse than their Slovak counterparts and this presented a challenge for the Piano team.
Slovene publishers also brought different expectations to the table. In Slovakia, publishers were uncertain what to expect because nothing like a national online payment system had ever been tried before. However, when Piano generated a steady revenue stream, along with subscriber growth and no page view loss, Slovak publishers were not only excited about the additional revenue, but were confident the system would be a long-term solution.
Slovene publishers knew the system would work based on Piano’s prior experience. Their question was how well. The answer, as Vesna Humar, Primorske novice’s chief editor, discovered, is that the system works very well. “We have been able to offer better quality content online thanks to Piano. This has been noticed by our web readers who subsequently are evolving into a more loyal and critical audience. This contact is key for journalists responsible for reporting the news.”
Publishers Impressed with Reader Response
Publisher’s were not sure how Slovenia’s readership would react to Piano’s implementation. They collectively agreed Piano is a long-term project to which the market needs time to adapt. However, they were satisfied with the initial positive reader response. Estera Lah Polak, the Marketing and PR manager at Delo noted that Piano was strengthening her paper’s brand “ So far we are satisfied with Piano’s results. We look forward to developing our content within Piano and hope to make our online subscription even more appealing and interesting to our readers.”
Piano’s CEO Bella added, “We thought, as in Slovakia, we would see steady subscriber growth once the system was implemented. We had a very good reaction to our pre-registration offer and we believe more and more Slovene readers will become Piano users as they become accustomed to the system.” More than 25,000 Slovene readers pre-registered with Piano.
However, both publishers and Piano’s executive team noted that even though Slovene readers are paying for online content, this has come with an increased expectation for quality. Slovene publishers have said they will use Piano-generated revenue to improve their offer within the system, support better journalism and develop more comprehensive online services and websites.
Piano in Slovenia
Participating in Piano’s Slovene project are: Dole’s national news website, delo.si, tabloid web-portal, slovenskenovice.si, the national daily newspaper Dnevnik; leading national publication 7dni; renowned leading regional publications Primorske Novice and Gorenjski Glas, the sports daily Ekipa, regional publication Dolenjski List; car magazine Autobild and tabloid news portal Pozareport.si.
Publishers work with Piano’s executive team to determine what content will be placed in Piano’s system and what benefits digital readers will receive. Some provide ad-free versions of their sites, while others offer premium access to their content before it is released to the public later in the day.