How much do news sites make

Springer GroupMoney is made digitally

The Axel Springer media group now generates around two thirds of its income with digital activities. CEO Mathias Döpfner is satisfied with the development, although he warns not to become sluggish in the further transformation process. The balance sheet presented today for 2015 clearly shows that the self-imposed economic goals have been achieved: "We were able to increase sales to 3.29 billion euros, which corresponds to an increase of 8.5 percent. Incidentally, we also have that The number of employees could increase by a four-digit amount. Axel-Springer is thus creating jobs through its growth course. "

The growth driver is the internet business and almost half of the group turnover was achieved in international markets. Springer is now involved in 15 start-ups in the USA, for example. In the current year, the focus will be more on the further development of these investments, but new acquisitions will still be possible on appropriate occasions. The business with classified ads on the Internet - for example in the areas of job placement or also with real estate and car portals - has meanwhile become an important financial backbone.

The business with online paid offers is not yet going well

Only recently the publisher had to announce that the group, previously run as a European stock corporation, would not be converted into a partnership limited by shares. With this step, Springer would have opened up more to external investors. Döpfner rejected disagreements with the publisher's majority shareholder, Friede Springer. You need more time.

"The possibility of raising capital through a KGaA would have been one of the ways to finance larger acquisitions in the future via capital increases. Even in the current structure, the investment leeway is definitely sufficient to do what we want to do for the foreseeable future. "

The 2015 balance sheet shows: Business with online paid offers - especially with the newspapers "Bild" and "Die Welt" - is not yet running smoothly. Despite increasing subscription numbers in this area, there was a slight decrease in sales compared to the previous year.

Ad blocker further undesirable

For example, the decision to block users of so-called ad blockers was controversial. Many online customers apparently do not want to be annoyed at the same time and constantly reading advertisements online. Mathias Döpfner continues to reject the ad blocker: "It is really important that we have an attitude here that advertising is not, so to speak, penal work that the reader has to do before he can get the coveted journalistic content. Advertising is part of the reading experience as a whole about it. That was always the case in the analog world, and it will gradually also be the case in the digital world. "

As an alternative to ad blockers, "Bild.de" is now offering a subscription with significantly reduced advertising and faster loading times, for an extra charge of just under three euros per month.

The traditional newspaper circulation in the print area is also continuing to decline at Springer.

For 2016 the Axel-Springer-Verlag expects a slower pace of growth. The increase in group sales will be in the low single-digit percentage range.