We need help building Next Generation Publishing Products in Schibsted

Tl;dr — We’ll reinvent Schibsted’s core publishing products. We want to leap from products being desktop & anonymous by design into an ecosystem of personal & device-agnostic next generation products. We have full freedom and complete access to the biggest publishing brands in Norway & Sweden (e.g. VG), millions of users and huge volumes of content as our starting point — and to top it all, we have zero product legacy. However, we lack great product managers, software engineers and UX-experts to head up our initial attempts at reinventing ourselves (see vacancies in the end of the post).

Our Vision

Publishers are at gunpoint and left with two choices:

  • Externalize user engagement and become content providers for third party platforms; third party platforms that dictate the editorial and business rules without claiming editorial and financial accountability for independent journalism, or
  • Pick a fight for user engagement and reinvent your core digital products as truly personal experiences working seamlessly across any device — products that are optimized for individual user needs while preserving society needs for independent journalism

We choose the second option. We’re determined to take a leap and reinvent our core publishing products into what we think of as Next Gen Publishing Products, but we need your help in doing so!

One could argue that we should just sit still and enjoy the immense success of our digital publishing products. To give some some examples; with VG in Norway we reach 52% of the digital population every day. That includes 1.4M visitors a day on mobile alone, in a country with 5M people. Looking to Sweden we reach 47% of the digital population every day with Aftonbladet.

But sitting still is the worst thing we can do. Like before, we’ve decided to embark on the mission to disrupt ourselves — at our core — before someone else does it. Enter Next Generation Publishing Products.

We need you to define the products, but we do know they need to far more personal than ever before.

The vision for all our Next Generation Publishing Products is to deliver and tell news in a way that makes users feel like they have their own personal, intelligent editor:

  • an editor that optimize her algorithms to close the gap between what people know and should (not just want to) know
  • an editor that helps people to understand complex issues and the contemporary by moving into personalized storytelling
  • an editor that guides users in a world of information overload, curating content from any source and showing what’s relevant for the user
  • an editor that users can trust will give them a balanced view of the world to avoid echo chambers, while fostering dialogue and discussions
  • an editor that knows how to surprise and entertain users, not purely challenges and enlighten users
  • an editor that allows advertising to have the same great user experience as journalism, and makes sure the user experience works seamlessly across any device (starting with mobile)

The Setup and Our Ambition

To pull it down to earth, let’s talk about 2016. Our long term ambition is to build publishing products that reinvent all our established products and ideally can replace them. However, in 2016 we’ll focus on shipping MVPs for some selected publishing brands in these core product categories:

  • Primary news destination: VG and Aftonbladet operate as primary news destinations in their markets. Their digital products were defined in the desktop era with a broadcasting (not-personalized) model. We wish to reinvent them, and we start with VG Next — a product for the next generation primary news destination.
  • Niche destination: We have a large portfolio of brands and publishers complementing our primary news destination (e.g. Min Mote, Godt, E24). In addition, we have Omni, a next generation product, that has gained traction in Sweden. We wish to create a vibrant ecosystem between next gen niche sites and primary destinations also in the future, but this needs rethinking and we could start with Omni as our baseline for such thinking.
  • Info services: This covers products built on top of structured data, e.g. weather and sports data. For this category, we’ll focus on Live Sports to begin with, but we also have great weather and TV info services. Tightly connected to VG and Aftonbladet we find live sports services that engages a huge audience of dedicated sports fans every day. Our current Live Sports services (e.g. VG Live) are far from our principles for next gen, and in need for reinvention.

As a part of Schibsted’s global Product & Tech organization, we’re now setting up a new line of product teams tasked to make sure we build, test, validate and scale next gen products. In 2016.

Schibsted Next Gen Publishing Products will be designed as a startup, or a small collection of connected startups/teams, with a strong mandate. The teams will have a direct link to the top management in Schibsted and management teams in the Publishing houses. However, we miss product managers, tech leads, software engineers and UX experts. This is where we hope you come in during the coming quarters — either coming from within Schibsted or as someone external who can come in and challenge status quo.

Product Vacancies (Oslo / Stockholm)

  • Product Analyst in Oslo (part of our Data & Insights team) — apply

Feel free to reach out to Espen Sundve (Product lead for Next Gen Publishing Products in Schibsted) for questions related to these positions.

Product Management in Media
In building and defining publishing products, we belive in absolute integration between newsroom, business, UX, tech and data. We expect our PMs to set strategy, prioritize and execute together with a cross-functional and autonomous team in the intersection of all these areas.

Feel free to read more about how we think about product management in media (from Jan 2015).

Software Engineering Vacancies (Oslo / Stockholm)

  • Android Software Engineers — apply
  • iOS Software Engineers — apply
  • Front-end & Back-end Software Engineers — apply

Feel free to reach out to Morten Jacobsen (tech lead publishing in Schibsted) for questions related to these positions.

UX Vacancies (Oslo / Stockholm)

Feel free to reach out to Axel Haugan (UX lead in Next Gen Products) for questions related to UX positions.

Please reach out if you think you’re the right person for any of these jobs — see all vacancies in Schibsted Product & Tech. We need to move fast and break things before someone breaks publishing and independent journalism, so please do not hesitate.

Looking forward to hear from you!

Espen Sundve
VP Product Management
Next Gen Publishing Products
@sundve / espen.sundve@schibsted.com
Schibsted Media Group