Serbian satirical portal Njuz.net serves as a prime example of a popular media outlet that refused to settle for the status quo. Instead, they embraced a mindset of innovation and experimentation, leading to remarkable success. Leveraging their distinctive skills and strengths, they launched two new podcasts that effectively engaged a new audience while also generating additional revenue streams.
Njuz.net’s goal was to create video podcasts, but with a dual purpose: not only diversifying their revenue streams, but also addressing the issue of content segmentation and enhancing their brand visibility. This marked the first time that the team placed their faces “on display,” which was a significant step in boosting their brand recognition. By introducing this novel solution, Njuz.net aimed to establish themselves as an innovative, dynamic force within the digital media landscape.
Situation prior to the project
Prior to embarking on the Media for All project, Njuz.net had already established itself as a reputable media outlet with a reliable income stream. However, the organisation had become overly reliant on a singular revenue stream, namely outsourcing their copy and scriptwriting services. Concurrently, the content they produced had begun to age, and as a result, their audience on the web portal had grown stale.
The mentoring process
The nature of the mentoring process resembled that of a client and consultant, rather than that of a mentee and mentor. Initially, consultations revolved around orchestrating strategic transformations in the organisational structure of Njuz.net’s business processes. However, as the collaboration evolved, the journey became more experiential learning, embracing the “learning by doing” philosophy. The team came to the realisation that they did not seek to alter the dynamics of their creative work and organization per se, but rather to broaden the horizons of their product offerings. Consequently, their joint efforts were devoted to devising optimal approaches for the production, promotion, and marketing of their innovative new product.
The main challenge arose when the initial podcast became intertwined with political content. Consequently, the team faced a recurring issue encountered in their previous content ventures: potential sponsors and advertisers acknowledged the value of Njuz.net but hesitated to associate themselves with political contexts. However, Njuz.net made a pivotal decision without their mentor’s assistance. They introduced a second podcast called POPkast, deliberately steering clear of political themes. This astute move not only covered the costs of the entire season, but also paved the way for ongoing negotiations for the next season (2023/24), demonstrating a positive trajectory for future success.
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“It takes genius, very creative Serbs, as well as a stubborn and somewhat rigid Slovene to first float around all over the place and, at the end, achieve a total win.”
– Njuz.net team