In Q1/2015, the publisher earned 60 per cent of its revenue on the web, for instance with property and job portals like Immonet and Stepstone. At the same time, overall corporate revenue rose by 10 per cent to a figure of 1,577 million euros. As a consequence of the ongoing digitalisation of the business model, advertising revenue at Axel Springer rose to 985 million euros – an increase of almost 15 per cent. Around 80 per cent of this advertising revenue was attributable to the concern’s digital business models. Even though Springer had no qualms about divorcing itself from the big daily papers, the restructuring process was above all initiated to enable the survival and continuing existence of the historic Springer Verlag. This is the German interpretation of the Silicon Valley philosophy. Here, we preserve, nurture and care about concerns steeped in tradition.
On the face of it, it’s not all that surprising. In effect, they took classic newspapers, snipped out the news, articles and other bits and simply pasted them all back together with digital glue. They continue to offer regionally relevant content, but can now be placed under global control. No matter where readers are, the days of ringing classifieds with a ballpoint are history, today it’s all digital, and done with a click. It’s a money-spinner, too. Could this dismantling of the newspaper as we know it also be applied to the digitalisation of cars?