The Mario Blog
Those European ePapers Continue Growing

That much expected Visiolink report about the state of ePapers in Europe is here: “The media industry has embraced the digital paper and so have the readers.”

This is the fourth report about the state of ePapers in Europe, a document compiled by those Danish guys at Visiolink. The ePapers continue to grow in popularity and this report proves it.

Visiolink bases its report on a survey of readers who read their newspapers as ePapers, seeing 1:1 replica versions of the newspapers that they read on their tablets, smartphones and via webbrowsers.

 This year, the report is based on interviews with answers of 6284 respondents spread across Denmark, Finland, Germany and Norway. These respondents all have a subscription to one or more newspaper titles. The respondents are divided into 61.5 percent men and 38.5 percent women. The report also pulled statistical data from Google Analytics from 146 newspapers across Belgium,Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Norway, the Netherlands and Sweden.

While the report deals with European ePapers, I think publishers everywhere can learn much from the information here.

While the report is available to read here.  I have listed highlights of interest here:

  1. The ePaper is slowly but steadily moving in the right direction, and there has never been as much focus on the digital paper as we see today.

  2. The average time spent with the ePaper across all ages is 25.5 minutes. That’s an increase of 10 percent compared to 2016.

  3. Approximately 80 percent of the respondents consider the ePaper to be a very important or primary news source – across all ages, that is.

  4. It goes for ePaper users as well as non-users that the smartphone is catching up on its oversized counterparts

  5. The greatest strength of the ePaper is its availability. Unlike the print paper, it’s available anywhere you go as long as you have a device that’s connected to the internet. Or if you have already downloaded a publication.

  6. Based on the findings of this report, there’s especially one generation of people you should target -The Generation X. This generation of people are typically characterized as being born between the early-to-mid 1960s and the early 1980s. As this report have stated, people in this age group have both the willingness to pay for editorial content as well as the purchasing power.


ePaper and Mobile

I was interested to read that, while the replica of the printed newspaper as pdf is ideal to read on the screen of a tablet, it is not so for the smaller mobile platform that is the phone.

“The replica, for instance, is ideal for tablet due to the size of the screen, while it isn’t necessarily ideal for the small smartphone screens. In spite of this, the smartphone is extremely popular among the youngest ePaper users.”

“When asked which platform they prefer for ePaper reading, the users across all age groups agree on the tablet. The smartphone also plays a significant role though.  Users up to the age of 54 would rather read the ePaper on a mobile than in a web browser, and it’s especially worth noticing that a third of the users, who are 34 years or less of age, actually prefer reading on a smartphone.”

Reading patterns for ePapers

Of great interest, but not surprising, the report supports the idea that when reading on mobile devices:

While more than half of the respondents zoom in on the replica, more than a third prefer to use a reading mode feature we call ‘Article view’ either all the time or in a combination. This feature changes the interface, when you click an article, into a more convenient and readable layout.



According to Visiolink CEO Jens Funder Berg, there’s a steady growth in ePaper usage across all European countries:

“Almost all European newspapers experience a steady YoY growth with more readers, more downloads, longer time spent and more pages read in total. This means new subscription revenues and especially also new advertising revenues. So ePapers are not just a technological distribution platform anymore – it’s a substantial part of the business model”.

As stated in the report, there’s a good reason to follow the ePaper penetration across platforms and as part of a competive landscape, which could be seen as a ‘stock rate’ for news media. This below is an example of the 30-day download numbers from a range of small and medium sized European newspapers. Devided into the channels Tablet, Desktop and Mobile and sorted by Average Daily Downloads.





“It’s about mining the gold at your feet”, states Jens Funder Berg.


Of related interest

The Visiolink report refers  to some research from AudienceProject – see their blog and report-link here:



Mario’s Speaking Engagements



April 18-19, 2018-Newscamp ,Augsburg,  Germany.





May 26, 2018Associacion Riograndense de Imprensa, Univesidad de Santa Cruz (Unisc), Brazil



June 3-6, 2018The Seminar, San Antonio, Texas.




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