Premium Initiative for digital paid-content offerings: Axel Springer offers positive interim assessment after the first year

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Premium Initiative for digital paid-content offerings: Axel Springer offers positive interim assessment after the first year

To press release overview

More than 500,000 sales and 800,000 downloads for the iPhone and iPad / BILD launches new multimedia service for tablet PCs / "iKiosk" available immediately, also on the stationary Internet / Axel Springer will continue the experiment with offerings for new devices

One year after launching its initiative to establish paid-content offerings on the stationary and mobile Internet (“Premium Initiative”), Axel Springer AG has offered a positive interim assessment of the results to date. At a press event held at the Axel Springer Building in Berlin on Tuesday, December 7, 2010, CEO Mathias Döpfner expressed satisfaction with the progress made so far: "Our experiment with paid-content offerings has begun to yield positive results after only one year. The latest interim results are extremely encouraging. It is still too early to make a definitive assessment of users’ willingness, over the long term, to pay for journalistic content in the digital world. And of course, the revenues are still rather small, compared with the print business; but we have gotten off to a successful start. Our experience teaches us that we are on the right path to establishing a new business model in the online world, opening up the prospect that digital sales revenues become another cornerstone of our business, alongside advertising revenues."

In the last twelve months, the media brands of Axel Springer AG have launched more than 15 new premium paid-content offerings, including apps for the iPhone and the iPad, and now also the "Freemium" models involving both paid and free content from the newspapers HAMBURGER ABENDBLATT and BERLINER MORGENPOST.

Since the beginning of the Premium Initiative, Axel Springer’s various apps for mobile terminal devices have generated sales of more than half a million units and more than 800,000 downloads. Since the end of 2009, the BILD app for the iPhone alone has generated sales of more than 400,000. DIE WELT generated nearly 50,000 sales with its news apps for the iPhone and the iPad. The first magazine developed specifically for the iPad, The ICONIST, has generated sales of more than 7,600. And the world’s biggest automotive magazine brand AUTO BILD continued its success story by generating 14,000 iPad sales within only a few weeks.

The press event also featured an exclusive first look at the new BILD app for the iPad, which will be available in the App Store starting on December 8, 2010. The new service BILD HD offers users the best of all worlds: print, online, mobile and gaming. Designed for users of Apple’s tablet PC, it is a completely stand-alone product, the content of which is modeled after the structure of Europe’s biggest daily newspaper, while delivering the speed and up-to-date character of the online world. In this iPad app, BILD has invented a completely new way of telling stories, one that employs multimedia extension, videos, animations and numerous fun effects.

Mathias Döpfner also announced that the new media brand "iKiosk" is now available as a beta version for the stationary Internet, effective immediately, to complement the iPad version. At, online users can easily choose from among numerous digital offerings based on the media brands of Axel Springer. When Apple began selling its tablet PC in the spring of 2010, "iKiosk" was the first German kiosk app; today, it comprises more than 30 different newspaper and magazine content offerings.

In conclusion, the CEO of Axel Springer AG emphatically affirmed the company’s intention to press forward with this experiment. Also, the company will seek to operate more independently of platforms in the future. "Axel Springer will develop additional paid-content offerings in a spirit of experimentation, innovation and entrepreneurial courage. The market potential is certainly very encouraging. And we are looking forward to the many new devices, which we can use to deliver attractive offerings to users, based on simple, uncomplicated billing plans.”

*Sales: Total sales of monthly, three-month and twelve-month subscriptions,
plus paid downloads (only apps) or one-day sessions (only online).
*Downloads: Total paid and free downloads.
Status: 12/2010

Download table as .pdf

Please find an overview of Digital Paid-Content Offerings by Axel Springer, including current numbers regarding sales and downloads, at

Press contact: Christian Garrels
Tel: +49 30 2591 77651

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