How Der Spiegel uses AVOD & Live Streams to grow their brand and audience

The Challenge

Like all digital news publishers, DER SPEIGEL in Germany has faced mounting challenges to its industry. With the competition for online attention always a struggle, the award-winning publisher has managed to stay ahead of the pack with new and engaging forms of content—specifically video and live streaming.

As online news consumption in 2020 increased due to the pandemic and political engagement, DER SPIEGEL saw an opportunity for new ways to grow, engage, and monetize their audience. That opportunity has the potential to further grow in 2021 with regional politics continuing to dominate the news and the chance to further engage audiences with expanded online video content.

Video and livestreaming are an important part to strengthening the DER SPIEGEL brand and online presence. As a respected editorial outlet, DER SPIEGEL needed a video solution with a reliable tech-savvy partner, so they could continue focusing on the editorial content and growing the SPIEGEL+ premium paid subscriptions.

Another challenge when expanding their video content was finding ways to further increase their reach and digital presence, with an explicit goal to make more revenue through an AVOD business model, DER SPIEGELs Nabil Moghib (Video Product Team, Monetization) reports.

Finally, as a news organization, there’s always a need to get information out quickly and accurately. DER SPIEGEL needed a live video strategy to stream news conferences and other important programming in a 24-7 world, especially during the tumultuous 2020 year.

Video is important to our strategy. And since adding a subscription model, we’re thinking of what video can do to increase subscriptions and as a way to generate leads of paying customers.

Sven Christian | Video Product Team | Editoria

People want to get informed fast and live stream is one of the ways to get people informed very fast.

Sven Christian | Video Product Team | Editoria

The Solution

In a competitive news market, DER SPIEGEL has found creative ways to use video successfully to grow their audience, brand, and business. With their premium SPIEGEL+ subscription offer, they offer ad-free viewing alongside their established advertising revenue-based video content. In the news market, it’s difficult to offer exclusive video content, but the publishers have been using live streams to increase their viewership and engagement. “Live streaming can be a way to produce exclusive content and together with some other measures, it’s a way to convince users to leave a login or even a subscription to the digital area of DER SPIEGEL,” Sven Christian said.

JW Player’s live player enabled DER SPIEGEL’s newsdesk to not only use live streaming for standard live events, but with a reliable tech partner, they’ve also managed to set up regular live channels to stream from other news partners, press conferences, and special planned events without commentary. However, as part of their ongoing strategy to offer more engaging content, DER SPIEGEL has also begun hosting live talk shows with prominent guests and hosts. During the U.S. election, DER SPIEGEL ran live shows during the presidential inauguration and other high-volume events, generating 2 million live streamed minutes of President Biden’s Inauguration on January 20, 2021!

Engagement is also an important aspect to DER SPIEGEL’s success in the AVOD business, delivering premium experiences for readers and advertisers. With a new strategic goal to increase and monetize subscribers without sacrificing reach this has become even more important. DER SPIEGEL uses a recommendations playlist to easily integrate video within their pages. With video being such an important part of their complete digital strategy, the JW Player recommendations engine allows for follow-on plays to related content.

The Result

With high quality visual storytelling done through video and with live streaming helping to get news out quickly and credibly, DER SPIEGEL has successfully used video to increase their reach and engagement—all monetized through advertising. Live streams in particular provided plenty of opportunities for DER SPIEGEL’s growth, even during a year with unprecedented video growth in general.

The Result


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