Is Facebook a platform or a publisher

How publishers can make money on Facebook

kress pro: In my experience, the digital turnover on Facebook for many publishers is somewhere in the low single-digit percentage range.

Jesper Doub: For many it should be in this area. For others it is orders of magnitude of 30 percent or even more. This is due to the business models of the individual publishers, you cannot lump that together. There are some that focus on two or three revenue streams, others go over 20 or 25.

kress pro: Specialist publishers and regional newspaper houses are the backbone of the industry. I don't know of any house in this area that makes 30 percent of its digital revenue through Facebook.

Jesper Doub: I can neither confirm nor refute that from my head.

kress pro: How can publishers do business with you in principle?

Jesper Doub: This is an important point: in the past, Facebook was the platform for many publishers to post something on. Then they got traffic that they monetized by advertising on their own site. Everyone tried to tweak that. There were a few partners who clearly overdid it and drifted into clickbaiting phenomenally. However, there are now a number of partners who have understood that the Facebook portfolio is significantly larger. Among other things, we have subscription partners who are now significantly generating their subscription sales via Facebook. Take a look at Le Monde: They have managed to increase digital subscriptions by 20 percent by working with Facebook.

kress pro: How does that work exactly?

Jesper Doub: Our marketing services alone offer an attractive opportunity to generate sales.

kress pro: Then I'm just an advertiser?

Jesper Doub: Exactly. But there is a second model that we have developed especially for publishers: the moment a user says, for example, because of a Facebook post by a publisher, "I would like to subscribe", the entire process is passed on to the partner. That means: the publisher determines the pricing, the process on the paywall and receives all of the payment data. A very important point: the partner retains 100 percent of the turnover. So you see: we are very interested in media companies.

kress pro: We spoke to Bild-Digitalmanager Stefan Betzold a few months ago. He said: "There is a lot of announcement from Facebook and Google to help publishers with paid content solutions, but the experience and results so far are still quite modest in our view."

Jesper Doub: I don't want to comment on the figures in the picture.

kress pro: You don't have to. Picture says: It's humble.

Jesper Doub: I believe there are different ways to actually use the tools we provide. And there are houses that are differently successful in using our subscription solutions. I can't comment on how this works for image. At this point, however, you have to be very clear: We are in a continuous dialogue.

kress pro: Sorry. They say: We'll do something to win subscriptions. And the market leader in Germany says: It's modest. That is a criticism of you.

Jesper Doub: I don't think that's a blanket criticism of us. I think it has a lot to do with what business model publishers have, what product they're trying to sell as a subscription, and what pricing they're choosing. There are so many factors that play a role. Otherwise we would have to say yes: if the market leader can't do it, neither will others. That would be a normal derivation, but there is plenty of evidence to the contrary.

Who in Germany, for example? And the segment? News Page Index: As a media company, how do I get on the list of the chosen ones? Why do you want to enter into these partnerships with the publishers? Is that indulgences? Whom should I call you best?


You would like to continue reading the 5-page interview with Jesper Doub. Then please buy the current issue 5/2019 of "kress pro" - it is available in our shop.

You can also take out a "kress pro" subscription in our shop. Are you already a subscriber? Then please log in to My kress and read the current e-paper.

"kress pro" - the magazine for executives in the media - is published like by the media publisher Oberauer. The editor-in-chief is Markus Wiegand.

Exclusive stories and current personal details from the media and communication industry are available from Monday to Friday in our "kressexpress" newsletter. Subscribe for free.