Keeping track on investments, mergers and acquisitions, jobs and KPI’s is important for most of todays modern managers in the printing industry, and in Norway the industry gets this information served by Kjetil Fless and his Media Monitor. Please welcome Kjetil Fless and our first episode from Norway.
“Why should owners and managers and decision-makers in Norway sign up for subscription on Media Monitor?” They should do so, because I can provide them with relevant information that they need and that are useful to them and I bring them a newsletter every week, which in a very structural way lists all the latest articles, and if you have a smartphone and you log in to Media Monitor, you actually have the trade in your pocket.
“Does Media Monitor help decision-makers to make more money?” Yeah, you are in a more solid situation, you are oriented about the trade in general, and I am very aware of all the information flow, the overflow, and that’s why in my newsletter everything is listed. I know all my readers are very busy people. They are not on the Internet much, they just pick their articles on my newsletter, read that and start working, so my task is to make this as simple as possible. I just publish a brief information, so that everything is not time-consuming in a way they don’t like.
I am the owner and editor of the Media Monitor, which is a website reporting from the graphic arts industry, mainly for the Norwegian audience.
“Media Monitor is a commercial website for the printing industry?” Well, yes. Let me say, it’s a combination of a news site and intelligence service which provides, I hope, broad and deep information for the industry and its participants.
“What kind of content would I be able to find on your website?” You should find relevant news on different topics – from investments, from acquirements, also key figures from the players in the industry, jobs, many other things related to fairs and business as a whole really.
“So, that is like a business intelligence site for the printing industry in Norway?” That’s right.
“That sounds great. And everything is, of course, for free?” No, it’s not. How would I get my wage if it was?
“I was just curious, that is why I’m asking.” No, I have a subscription model, a difficult word. My website is also open for advertising, but as you know advertising is not the thing of the time any longer, so I based it on paying readers, yes.
“So, your typical customers would be like printers and also maybe suppliers of equipment, or who is your typical customer?” All those you mentioned there, and also not only from printing industry as we know it the traditional way, you can also take the label segment, packaging, design, and all those involved could I hope find interesting content on Media Monitor.
“Is it expensive to subscribe to Media Monitor?” Yes, it’s more expensive than perhaps the trade would be used to, but having been on the air now for 18 months, I see that my clients are returning to me, they pay for another year, so I guess that must mean that they find it worthwhile.
“How do you get inspiration for the content you provide?” I have a few years behind me in the same trade as a journalist. I ran a Trade Journal for several years until 2012, and I had a couple of years off and then I just got the idea that why not try again in another kind of way, so I founded Media Monitor in 2014 and I thought it was fun. I used my old Network, and in 2015 in January, I launched on a new, more professional web platform and upgraded the whole site, really. From there, to where I am now, it has been really fun.
“Do you have any partners?” I’ll have to say, yes. For a year now, or more than that, I have been cooperating with a website in Sweden, branschkoll.se with Ola Karlsson.
“We have made a portrait of him on Inkish.” I saw it and it was great. I have a great cooperation with Ola. We swap news and we discuss things. This is a great advantage, for me at least and I hope for Ola, too.
“I’m sure, because sometimes some of the stuff that I first see on Media Monitor, I see on Branschkoll, afterwards. So there must be like two sites way to that.” I think it’s a win-win situation, yes.
“Do you think that the interest in Media Monitor is growing?” Yes, I do. To be honest, I haven’t yet received one negative feedback. They have all been positive and some of them have been really encouraging. Of course, when you do a subscription model, you want them to really feel that this is worth the money.
“And where do you see Media Monitor in the nearby future?” I’m not sure, because this takes time, I think. My concept is to have a fairly high subscription rate, and therefore it will take time and I cannot say that this will be a viable thing to do forever, but I’m prepared to wait and it has been a very good start.
“What do the customers gain from subscribing to Media Monitor?” I think one must see it as a whole. You can’t really measure the sum of the information that I provide. It’s impossible – I cannot put a price tag on the value for the readers.
“Do you monitor what kind of content is mostly read or seen?” Oh, yeah.
“What are the people most curious about?” Investments and acquisitions are the two most popular topics, definitely, and I know that some people don’t like that at all, but it has to be a part of it. So, my aim is to be early on with the news, to be the first and this is very important. I can read directly from the analytics and the statistics: “Wow, this was interesting!”
“Are you worried about information overflow?” Yeah. You are in a more solid situation, you are oriented about the trade in general and I am very aware of all the information flow, the overflow, and that’s why in my newsletter everything is listed. I know all my readers are very busy people. They are not on the Internet much, they just pick their articles on my newsletter, read that and start working, so my task is to make this as simple as possible. I just publish a brief information, so that everything is not time-consuming in a way they don’t like.
“If you want to invest in a competitor?” You can check the key figures, you can check the leadership, you can check the website – it’s all there on Media Monitor, and you can do a free search and see if there are articles in the database, probably there are, and you can make your opinion on basis of these information.
“Media Monitor obtains a lot of information… How is the situation in the Norwegian market right now?” Rather good at the time and I think we saw some points of that at Drupa recently. There are now companies investing again and they invest in digital technology, also offset, but there is a transition and I think that there is an optimistic trend at the moment in Norway.
“So, when they are having these things do you also sometimes experience people saying: “We really don’t want you to tell about this and we don’t want you to share.” I mean are you sometimes trying to squeeze a little bit on sharing?” Yeah. Well, sometimes I get these messages. Actually yesterday, I heard a Danes telling me that Norwegians are more secretive than Danes and Swedes. And I think he is right – they want to keep it to the chest, but maybe they’re opening up a little bit more. And also, perhaps because, if I may say so, Media Monitor has published more things that previously weren’t published. So, perhaps that is a small contribution to make the industry a little more open.
“And if you look at the industry in Norway, is it under big competition from the outside?” Very much so, although I see maybe a change for the last couple of years and I think many of the Norwegian printers have been quite good at taking up the challenge and do a lot of good work and many of them have brought production back from other countries into Norway.
We’re out of the recession, I think there is no doubt about that, but times are uncertain and time horizon is quite short in these times, and I think the printers know that, so they act in accordance with that. I just want to be a part of the whole trade and be a partner that contributes in letting the information flow, so that all those who really produce something in this industry have all they need, in terms of information. That’s my job, so I will do my best at it.
I think it’s all about, you know, being brave as I said, and be informed of your surroundings, of your business, and you get that by reading Media Monitor, for instance, and also Inkish, I guess, and in many other ways. Otherwise than that, it’s hard work and just get up in the morning