Drive stands for Digital Reader Revenue initiative. Designed by the German news agency dpa and the leading German publishing consultancy Schickler, already ten publishers have joined this innovative way to analyse data, gain insights and accelerate change in newsrooms. They bring with them more than 12 million users and 700 million new data points per month.

Every publisher builds a simple (and GDPR conform) tracker in her news site transferring 1st party user data every five seconds to a joint database. Furthermore, the publishers transmit all content data like articles, pictures, videos, etc.

How DRIVe builds a common data infrastructure

This technical infrastructure allows us to compare the data across the publishers down to the most detailed level, as if it were one big publisher. So we can easily spot possible areas for improvement. For this purpose, we have developed a common KPI structure. The next illustration shows an example for the KPI Media Time (see our post about the importance of Media Time for digital subscriptions)

KPI structure for Media Time

The enormous amount of data (> 3 billion data sets after 6 months) enables our data science team to train self-learning algorithms supporting the newsrooms. First step has been algorithms that independently classify content into topic models. This is a precondition for the personalisation of the content offer following as step two. Step three is the personalisation of the complete customer journey including individual pricing and personal newsletters.

Data and tools are only one side of the coin. The other is the sharing experience. All publishers face the same challenge and hundreds of questions in the day-to-day life of a newsroom. In DRIVE, everything is shared. Not only the data and the analysis, but also test results, organisational experiences, successes and failures. This saves a tremendous amount of time because Drive members learn from each other and not everyone has to make any experience by herself. It also gives a good team spirit and the feeling that you are not alone in the fight for a digital future of publishing.