Schibsted’s PodMe podcast platform brings 170,000 paying subscribers

When it w a s announced that Schibsted-owned PodMe had bought a few of Norway’s highest profile podcasts and was going to put them behind a paywall, some thought the company was making a big mistake.

A lot of people were calling them crazy, saying ‘What on earth are you doing? Are you really going to try to put these profiles behind a paywall?’ But thr publisher did, and it’s been working quite well. The fan bases of these podcasts are super loyal, and it’s given us a really strong base of subscribers to develop the product on,

How and why Schibsted came to undertake this decision offers some lessons in business strategy from a company that has repeatedly shown itself to be among the sharpest in the news industry. A few years ago, Kristin Ward Heimdal was working in the Strategy department of Schibsted News Media when they noticed a lot of things happening around podcasts. These developments got Schibsted’s strategists thinking that if there really was a shift coming towards more exclusive, premium models that they should consider making a move to increase their user revenue for their publishing brands.

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