We need help building Next Generation Publishing Products in Schibsted

Espen Sundve
5 min readMar 9, 2016

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. 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 2017. Our long term ambition is to build publishing products that reinvent all our established products and ideally can replace (parts of) them. In 2017 we focus on three types of end user products (and some other parts which we’re not ready to talk out loud about just yet):

  • VG Next — your personal editor: We have strong brands VG, Aftonbladet, Aftenposten and more operating as primary news destinations in their markets. Their digital products were defined in the desktop era with a one-size-fits-all (not-personalized) model. We wish to challenge this with a personal by design experience in VG Next.
  • Omni Next — your perfectly curated news and one stop shop niche experience: We have Omni, a leading curation based service for news junkies in Sweden. In addition to this, we have vertical / niche news players like E24 focusing on business news. 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 have started with Omni as our baseline for such thinking.
  • Sports Next — a unique and personal live sports service for everyone: Structured data is a great starting point for a more personal experience. Live score data is such an area — and it’s an area in filled with passion and user engagement. Through our Sports Next team we are in the process of reinventing (and scaling out) VG Live as a personal and seamless experience that tells the story of each event at a glance.

As a part of Schibsted’s global Product & Tech organization, we’re have a new line of product teams tasked to make sure we build, test, validate and scale next gen products. In 2017.

Schibsted Next Gen Publishing Products is designed as a startup, or a small collection of connected startups/teams, with a strong mandate. The teams have a direct link to the top management in Schibsted and management teams in the Publishing houses. However, we miss product, UX and engineering 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)

In building and defining publishing products, we believe 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).

Feel free to reach out to Espen Sundve (Product lead for Next Gen Products) for further details.

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 Johannes Gorset (Tech lead for Next Gen Products) for questions related to these positions.

UX Vacancies (Oslo / Stockholm)

Feel free to reach out to Axel Haugan (UX lead for 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