How STYRIA became Slovenia's digital number one

It's been a year ago, since STYRIA has taken over the news portal zurnal24.si and the health forum Med.Over.Net. Together with the marketplaces bolha.com and mojedelo.com, STYRIA offers now the largest digital reach in Slovenia The managing director of the new portals, Miro Mauhar, provides insight.

BY PHILIPP LACKNER

Just in a few words: What are the new two STYRIA brands about?
MIRO MAUHAR: Zurnal24 is a modern, purely digital news publisher that gives ordinary people a stage - with lighter content, but of course also with the big issues when it counts. On the other hand, Med.Over.Net is a health forum that mainly consists of user-generated content. The moderators of the forum are doctors/physicians who answer, give advice and give first medical orientation. The portal also runs several more forums dealing with different kind of topics in the lifestyle segment.

How many employees do both companies have?
MAUHAR: Currently we have nine at Med.Over.Net and sixteen at zurnal24.si, mainly journalists, moderators and sales staff, hardly any administration, to stay lean.

Why did the engagement come about in the first place?
MAUHAR: We saw a good opportunity to strengthen our existing STYRIA brands in Slovenia, i.e. bolha.com and mojedelo.com, and become the dominant digital player in Slovenia. This is the only way to survive in the digital world with its tough global competition. Styria International follows a strict strategy: If there is no chance for the #1-position we leave it.

To what extent did the access figures convince you?
MAUHAR: Of course we took a close look at them. Together, the two portals achieve a reach of around 60 percent.

What about the digital competition in Slovenia?
MAUHAR: In the domestic market a private TV station (pop tv) with 24ur.si and the state-owned Telecom with siol.net are the biggest competitors. In the single ranking our portals are listed behind them, but as mentioned, together they already make the #1-position in most of the months. The Slovenian newspapers (Delo, Vecer and Dnevnik, where we have a 25,1%-stake) have missed the digital momentum, they still have no serious focus on digital.

And if you add the numbers from STYRIA Digital Marketplaces Slovenia to the two new portals?
MAUHAR: Then STYRIA’s digital offer in Slovenia reaches more than 70 percent, what means the clear #1.

That sounds like a lot.
MAUHAR: And that was also the reason why we seized the opportunity to immediately take this #1 position in the market. There are opportunities to further develop both portals to reach more people and create revenue potential, but also in increased cooperation between all STYRIA portals in Slovenia to exploit this big reach.

Your expectations?
MAUHAR: With all the experience, know-how and support of STYRIA, we naturally have great opportunities. On the one hand, in terms of content, but also in terms of paid content. Here we are thinking about micropayment solutions, especially with Med.Over.Net, because the portal occupies a popular niche. But that depends on certain factors in the market. Most competitors are not "digital only", they have TV or print in the background. Print is not in focus. The strategy in Slovenia is clearly digital. Medium term we want to become the dominant digital #1.