September 25, 2007

Big is beautiful

Following up on yesterday's post on Aftonbladet and premium services. In an international perspective it is important to remember Aftonbladet's relative size in Sweden compared with the relative size of newspapers' in the English speaking world. In Sweden Aftonbladet had 3.5 million visitors week 32, or about 70 % of MSN's 4.95 million. In August had about 7.5 million unique visitors from the US (according to Comscore), which is about 6 percent of Yahoo's 131 million and Google's 122 million. For an English language newspaper the potential growth from, primarily, search is a bigger opportunity than it is for Aftonbladet.

As a large media site Aftonbladet gets some advantages from investing in user paid services like Plus:

- Less dependent on advertisers (which is a good thing)
- A platform to be a fast follower or develop new paid only offerings internally (think dating, dieting etc), as parts of the knowledge and infrastructure is in place
- Higher revenue per (paying) user for certain services than advertising will provide

The three areas of advantage lead both to significant short-/mid-term revenue opportunities and longer term strategic flexibility.

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