Revenue for the National Consumer Media segment declined by 11.3% to MEUR 41.6 (46.9) in January–December. Online business accounted for 29.8% (27.0%) of the segment’s revenue. The segment’s content revenue declined by 13.2% to MEUR 24.7 (28.5) in January–December, mainly due to the decrease in Iltalehti’s circulation. The segment’s advertising sales declined by 8.6% to MEUR 16.8 (18.4). Advertising sales for print media decreased by 22.6%. The segment’s online advertising sales for the full year declined by 2.1% to MEUR 12.3 (12.5). The growth in online advertising in the fourth quarter was not sufficient to compensate for the decline in online advertising in the early part of the year. There was a positive turn in digital advertising towards the end of the year. The increase in online advertising sales in the latter part of the year was particularly supported by mobile sales as well as new programmatic buying and targeted advertising solutions.
Focus on mobile development, lifestyle media and programmatic advertising
Iltalehti launched its new mobile services for consumers at the start of the year. The native applications developed for different operating systems (iOS, Android, Windows) received excellent reviews from users and significantly increased the visitor loyalty of Iltalehti’s content. The popularity of mobile services in general continued to see strong growth among both consumers and advertisers in 2015. On the busiest news days, the mobile application reached more than one million Finns.
The National Consumer Media segment restructured its content production organisation during the year. Lifestyle media was introduced alongside Iltalehti’s news media. IL Health became Finland’s largest health online content service by visitors counts, while the Pippuri.fi food service launched at the start of the year also established a good position for itself. Also by visitors counts, the women’s publication Ilona became the largest digital content service targeted at women. Lifestyle media also expanded its range of special supplements: The publication frequency of the women’s wellness supplement Ilona Hyvä Olo was increased, and the barbecue-oriented food publication Grillaus was launched as a new title. Another new content area was Careers, which involves a partnership with Alma Media’s recruitment service Monster. The decline in the demand for printed magazines has created new demand and audiences for IL’s lifestyle media.
Consumers’ media consumption is increasingly spanning across multiple channels, and various mobile solutions are emerging as alternatives to desktop and traditional television.
Iltalehti also launched live Periscope broadcasts on Independence Day 2015, and they proved to be very popular.
In addition to strong development on the mobile front, 2015 was a year of growth in programmatic advertising in Finland. In the autumn, Alma Media brought its programmatic buying specialists and technologies together in the new Alma Media Solutions unit. Programmatic advertising sales saw strong growth in the fourth quarter following the launch of redesigned websites for Iltalehti’s digital media. The restructured advertising sales organisation also developed new targeting solutions that leverage the data produced by several Alma Media services in new ways. Combined with Iltalehti’s large reach, the new solutions create a new competitive advantage in the intensely competitive field of digital advertising.
The demand of Iltalehti’s print edition continued to decline. The newspaper’s network of sales locations also thinned out. The publication of the newspaper’s printed Ilona supplement was discontinued, which reduced production costs substantially. The demand for the newspaper’s print edition nevertheless remained good for weekend editions.