In our recent World Press Trends annual survey, news publishers said they expect 21.6 percent of their overall revenue to come from “other revenue streams” over the next 12 months. That means revenue outside of reader revenue and advertising (print and digital).

It is a trend in the right direction as publishers continually try to diversify their revenue and create a more sustainable business to support their journalism. Identifying new revenue stream opportunities comes with its own set of challenges: ‘do we lean into our core business and / or venture outside our core?’

Leveraging their core business, existing technology, infrastructure and expertise would seem a logical choice for many. One such company that has done just that is JP/Politikens Hus (JPPOL), Denmark’s largest print and digital media house.

This case study report, produced by WAN-IFRA and the World Printers Forum, examines how JPPOL uses its Dansk Avis Omdeling (DAO) subsidiary, the dominant distribution company in Denmark, to drive new revenue. WAN-IFRA members can download the report for free.

In 2021, the company succeeded in merging the two largest regional distribution companies in Denmark to form Dansk Avis Omdeling (DAO).

Today, DAO has an 80 percent share of the distribution market in Denmark. It has agreements with two regional companies covering the remaining 20 percent, making DAO the dominant distribution player in the country.

JPPOL owns 51 percent of DAO. The remaining 49 percent is owned by regional media houses in Denmark.

DAO distributes daily newspapers, letters, magazines and parcels 365 days per year. This makes it possible for JPPOL to carry out profitable distribution throughout the country every day.

This contrasts with some neighbouring countries, where media houses have handed over large parts of their distribution (and control) to national or international postal companies.

“Until 2007, Jyllands-Posten had its own distribution, but several couriers came to the same address, each with its own publication every night, and it was not profitable, ” said Hans Peter Nissen, CEO of DAO. “After long negotiations, we agreed with our competitors to form a joint distribution company…”

Since entering the parcel market and merging two distribution activities with JPPOL (holding a 51 percent share of the ownership), the distribution company has significantly contributed to the media group’s revenue, said COO Dorthe Bjerregaard-Knudsen.

“Publishing is the core of our business activities,” she said. “Distribution is closely related to our core and has always been a part of our business. Securing the distribution of our newspapers and having control over the cost has been key to us. As the volume of newspapers has declined, we have diversified our distribution activities to continuously offer competitive distribution for newspapers at reasonable costs. This led us to include letters, magazines and parcels in our distribution services, altering the nature of our distribution activities.”

The (slide deck) report delves into a number of issues of the Danish distribution landscape and the challenges and opportunities JPPOL/DAO face, including delivery hurdles, times and delays, pricing, DAO’s advantages over state post, manpower, wages, the future and advice from the publisher.

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