Mediahuis into Mather partnership as print falls away

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European newsmedia company Mediahuis has acquired 35 per cent of industry consultant Mather Economics.

The "strategic partnership" will enable Mather - focussed on pricing and yield management - to acceleration its "ambitious" international growth plans. The Atlanta, USA-based company claims leadership in intelligent and predictive data analytics techniques, used to maximise the operating margins and revenues of its customers typically in publishing as well as e-commerce, sports, digital services and telecom.

The companies say Mediahuis' experience and know-how in publishing will make a "real contribution" to the further development of Mather solutions such as the Listener platform, a digital data capture platform that supports the analytics of online audiences and implements targeted customer acquisition, retention, and engagement campaigns

Mediahuis chief operating officer Paul Verwilt says subscription models now form a cornerstone for most publishers' business models: "As we see the readiness to pay for digital journalism growing, an optimal management of the customer journey and pricing strategy have become key.

"Mather's experience in the area of subscription flows, subscriber yield management, pricing strategy optimization, customer loyalty and retention is of great added-value, not only for Mediahuis, but also for other publishers worldwide."

He says capturing and managing customer data "in a respectful and intelligent way" will become increasingly important, with the combination of Mather's experience and Mediahuis' network enabling further international growth.

Mediahuis will also support Mather's entry into new industries where subscription models are gradually gaining access. European households spend around five per cent of their total budget on subscription models such as telecom, music, television and food.

President of Mather Economics Matt Lindsay says the strategic partnership will enable Mather to improve its service to European clients in the publishing industry, and in other verticals who are growing their subscription revenue models.

"Mediahuis also provides Mather with access to experienced media technologists and developers, who will add capabilities and operational scale to our growing Listener toolset."

The deal is a further growth for Mediahuis, which earlier this year acquired Ireland's Independent News & Media. Jointly controlled by Denis O'Brien and Dermot Desmond (with almost 45 per cent) INM was at one time a major shareholder in Australia's APN News&Media (now HT&E).

Interests of Mediahuis - which had operating income of 91 million Euros (A$148 million) last year - include the daily De Telegraaf in the Netherlands, and newspaper printing operations TMG in Amsterdam and Coldset Partners in Belgium. It was formed by the 2013 merger of Flemish media corporations Corelio and Concentra, and acquired Netherlands-based NRC Media in 2015 and Telegraaf Media Group in 2017. The separate printing operations still trading as Corelio were sold off this year after the company - one of the last publication gravure printers - was declared bankrupt.

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