Nordic Media Giant Merges Tech Operations to Take on Google

Nordic media group Schibsted ASA is combining technological development at its biggest newspapers, including the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet and the Norwegian daily Aftenposten, to claw back revenue from technology giants such as Google and Facebook.

The Oslo-based company, which runs newspapers and online classified websites in 30 countries, will form one unified technology team for its different titles and websites to develop new products, according to a statement made public Wednesday.

“If you look at both distribution and being relevant regarding journalism, the biggest competitors that steal attention from our end users and from the digital revenue base are the big global players, like Google and Facebook,” Espen Sundve, vice president of product management, said via phone Tuesday.

The media and advertisement industry is reshaping as technology companies, such as Facebook, Apple and Google, are changing how consumers buy and use media. Schibsted, which owns some of the biggest newspapers in Sweden and Norway, is building its own digital presence to compensate for falling revenues from print.

The reorganization, which doesn’t entail any job cuts, includes the newspapers Aftonbladet, Aftenposten and VG among others. The team will be based in Oslo, Stockholm, London, Barcelona and Krakow, Poland.

“This is a new product strategy in which we unite to take on fundamental challenges faced by all media houses,” Sundve said. “To have relevant end products related to news and journalism and to have a sustainable business model for digital journalism is an industrial challenge. It’s not unique for Aftonbladet or VG or for Schibsted generally.”

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