2020 was a challenging year for all media companies. The Corona pandemic is forcing many publishers to rethink, which is on the other hand accelerating a long-overdue need for change. For Jakob Wais and Romanus Otte, who have been responsible for Business Insider Germany since May 2019, another special feature was added last year. With the pandemic, Axel Springer announced the integration of the Gründerszene into their young company.
In this Interview, the editors-in-chief and managing directors talk about what it’s like to bring two media brands together at this special time, what they’re doing to boost the mood in their newsrooms, and how they plan to use paid content to expand their business model.
Medieninsider: 2020 is a commercially challenging year for many media outlets and Business Insider Germany is at an expansion course. The question arises: is this year a blessing in disguise?
Jakob Wais: Those would not be the words we would choose right now. Looking at the end of the year, we are very pleased with the performance of our team. However, this has little to do with a blessing, but rather with the fact that we as a team, but also as management, have made the right decisions to get through this Corona period well — both in terms of the health of the employees and the health of the company.
Romanus Otte: I also struggle with the term “blessing”. This year, too, was hard work in an unfortunate time for us. For us, it wasn’t just about building and expanding Business Insider Germany. Since April, Gründerszene has also been introduced, which in turn built up a paid content model. In 2020, this meant several large components at the same time. There were also some confusions and distortions, but good came out of them.