Speed, agility and quickly changing course when needed
It has been an important and eventful first year for Sanoma Digital. The newly formed business unit is part of a matrix organisation, together with Sanoma Media Netherlands and Sanoma Media Finland, which oversees the pure-play digital businesses and their development, spearheading the digital transformation of Sanoma.
"The other roles for Sanoma Digital are to work closely with the country organisations on cross-media opportunities and in key areas such as mobile, video, and Big Data," says CEO Arthur Hoffman. "Additionally, the Sanoma Lab and our venture arm are part of Sanoma Digital, and both of these are very important company-wide innovation initiatives."
Hoffman joined Sanoma in August 2014 and brings 16 years of digital experience to the company. He is confident about the steps taken so far and sees great opportunities ahead. "The first steps were to introduce more focus into our portfolio of activities and make important decisions on where we want to position ourselves and place our bets. This included divesting some of the underperforming businesses which had lost relevance over the previous few years. At the same time, we doubled down our focus on developing and improving our most promising brands. The market is evolving very fast. Speed and the agility to respond and change course where needed are crucial in our transformative journey."
Digital portfolio highlights
Sanoma Digital also increased the revenue and reach of its search assets in 2014. Sanoma Search, which offers curated search results, increased its market reach from 2% to 6% by integrating its search functionality into other Sanoma Digital sites. This led to a 73% increase in Startpagina Search revenues compared to 2013.
Sharing deep expertise
Sanoma takes the need for innovation very seriously, and realises that rapid changes in technology, business models and consumer expectations are driving a constant demand for investment in the latest ideas and business models, both internally and externally. The Sanoma Lab is one of the ways in which Sanoma is catalysing its own innovations. The lab is an internal incubator that can test the business potential of an idea quickly – even within a matter of weeks. One of the Lab’s successful concepts is Swipe & Shop, which allows users to take a picture of the clothes someone is wearing, and ask the community where these can be purchased. The Sanoma Lab is also Sanoma’s LEAN expert centre. The Lab has trained 1,400 people across the company in the LEAN development method and helped them embed this into their new business development efforts. Sanoma Ventures is investing in external start-up companies, mainly in the Netherlands and Finland, just as venture capitalists do. "To date we have invested in 15 promising tech start-ups, which represent the beginnings of a sizable and attractive new revenue base. In return for capital, media coverage and our expertise, we take an equity stake and support their growth journey. This can take many different forms, from rapid international expansion to very close coordination with Sanoma’s businesses in its core markets. Sanoma Ventures has invested in a very broad range of start-ups, including Peerby (a social sharing platform that is now being launched in the US), Locals United (an e-commerce platform for local fashion stores), and Scoupy (offering discount coupons). The video-on-demand portal WappZapp was recently closed down, but its two founders now work for Sanoma."
Goals for 2015
Sanoma Digital will continue along the path it set out in 2014. Hoffman sees many opportunities ahead, but is also aware that international digital giants like Facebook, Google, Twitter and Netflix create disruptive forces in the media industry and will inevitably lead some of the global trends. "While these players have massive reach and are good at targeting, we can differentiate ourselves by providing a relevant context with quality content. We offer unique cross-media target-ability across our leading digital, TV, and offline media brands."
Video will be a second key theme in 2015. TV-on-demand services Ruutu.fi in Finland and KIJK in the Netherlands, which was revamped in 2014, are already successful in long-format video. Hoffman argues that short-format video, used frequently on news sites and increasingly by any digital business, are becoming more and more popular. "We are looking to make a big push in this area," Hoffman says. "Sanoma has acquired the rights to the Champions League in 2014 and we will complement SBS’s TV offering with short video clips on sites like NU.nl, including match recaps and interviews with players."
Harri-Pekka Kaukonen: "This is a great company, with a great heritage and a great future"
Three years into its transformation process, Sanoma has reinvented itself as a digitally savvy company. With the organisation’s structure, strategy and culture firmly defined, Sanoma is making confident strides towards organic growth in 2016. CEO Harri-Pekka Kaukonen explains why Sanoma’s credibility was restored in 2014 and why growth and culture will be the core themes of 2015.
Increased confidence and a renewed sense of purpose were the dominant sentiments across Sanoma in 2014. "We have our mojo back."
Increased confidence and a renewed sense of purpose were the dominant sentiments across Sanoma in 2014. Chief Human Resources Officer Jackie Cuthbert says that Sanoma will now continue to focus on culture and skills in 2015 in order to return to growth in 2016.
Kim Ignatius: back to organic growth in 2016
“We want to make the most of our resources and capital – which means we need to prioritise and choose those assets with the best strength and potential,” says Kim Ignatius, Chief Financial Officer at Sanoma.
Peter de Mönnink: better value propositions across all media
In 2014, Sanoma Media Netherlands rationalised its portfolio, launched 17 projects to increase top and bottom line growth, invested heavily in TV and integrated the Sanoma and SBS offerings more closely.
Pia Kalsta: taking the multi-channel perspective in everything we do
Sanoma Media Finland’s CEO Pia Kalsta is pleased to report significant digital developments for numerous brands. For television and radio, 2014 was also a good year. Print remains an important element in the portfolio.
John Martin: co-creating solutions together with teachers
Sanoma Learning had a successful year. It delivered organic growth and strong profitability, achieved high growth in digital sales and extended its international reach. CEO John Martin says Sanoma Learning is poised to transform K12 education with digital solutions that improve learning outcomes for pupils, support teachers and increase engagement.
Key figures financial report 2014
Key figures financial report 2014
Chairman of the Board Antti Herlin: signs of growth
“The employees of Sanoma have shown their determination and diligence during tough times on the market. They have restructured the company and refocused their portfolio. They have invested in people and technology. And they have made swift progress towards creating innovative multi-channel offerings.
Chief Technology Officer Mikael Nurmi: ready for the digital future
Sanoma’s technology organisation worked hard during 2014 to build the structures and capabilities necessary for taking the Group further into the digital future.
Vice President Strategy and PMO Leila Kaleva: committed to change
”Sanoma's employees are very committed to transformation. Thanks to this mindset we are moving forward fast,” says Leila Kaleva, who has been leading the implementation and follow-up of Sanoma’s strategic change programme and strategy process since January 2014.
Young Digital Planet ready to teach the world
With high-end products and deals in multiple continents, Young Digital Planet is taking mobile curricula global.
bingel wants to be a favourite learning brand
Mobile, and with more adaptability and gamification, the new version of VAN IN's bingel is hot in Belgium and now in Sweden too. And it’s ready to take on more European countries.
VOoruit digital platform as a frontrunner
VOoruit is a platform started by Malmberg in 2013 to speed up the time to market of new digital learning products.
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Corporate Social Responsibility
Helsingin Sanomat, a mobile multimedia brand
In making the transition from a traditional newspaper to multimedia, and thus growing its digital media market share, Helsingin Sanomat is demonstrating that it can adapt and exploit the strength of its brand.
Fresh concepts strengthen Nelonen Media
In 2014 Nelonen Media successfully launched two new brands, a radio station called Loop and a TV channel called Hero. Both have added something unique.
New services at Sanoma recruitment
A strategy review in early 2014 convinced Mika Ruokonen, Director Recruitment Business Sanoma Digital Oikotie.fi, that it was time to make some changes.
Mun Treenari, lean is good!
A great example of Sanoma Lifestyle's successful application is a new app called ´Mun Treenari´. Developed by Sanoma Lifestyle’s health team, this app targets busy women who want to live a healthier lifestyle or change their living habits.
A trendsetter for 50 years, vtwonen goes multi-channel
In 2014 vtwonen celebrated its half century. What started as a simple magazine has since morphed into an all-round home decorating brand.
LINDA. spreads her wings
The people behind LINDA. brand professionalised the news website, launched a new book-publishing company, and even started up an advertising agency.
Sanoma Ventures, nothing ventured nothing gained
Sanoma Ventures was created to support independent start-ups that are responsible for some of today’s best innovation and the resulting new services and products.
KIJK: supply meets demand
KIJK is a house of content that sources movies, Dutch and US series (including earlier seasons), and extras such as exclusive interviews from Dutch TV channels SBS6, Net5, Veronica and SBS9.
Sanoma Digital leads the way
In 2014 Sanoma Digital's Performance Concepts team explored exciting new ways of making smarter use of Sanoma’s email database for advertisers.
Kymppi adds up to success in Finland
A product of the Maths and Science department of Sanoma Pro in Finland, Kymppi has already proved its worth with schools’ lower grades and will now build on that success.
Leading the way in personalised learning
By developing a new personalised and adaptive learning solution Malmberg, Sanoma Dutch Learning subsidiary, is proving to be a trailblazer in digital learning.
Sanoma Lifestyle, home-grown content producers
When Sanoma Lifestyle couldn’t find the right people to produce the kind of commercial content its clients were increasingly asking for, the company simply created its own training programme.
Exam preparation and performance tools
In 2014 Nowa Era, part of Sanoma Learning in Poland, launched the first edition of the Diagnoza Nowej Ery suite, which comprises final-exam testing and assessment services for teachers and students.