Speakers' Corner: Maison Moderne, 2019-2023 strategy
News•Business• 05.06.2019 • By Mike Koedinger and Richard Karacian
Photo: Maison Moderne
For its 25th anniversary, Maison Moderne is reinventing itself. Luxembourg’s leading independent media company, which publishes Paperjam, has adopted a multi-year strategy, reformulating its vision, mission and offer. A vision of the future leading towards a modern Luxembourg.
After a decade of diversification and accelerated growth, Maison Moderne is now turning to the consolidation of its activities, with a priority on its raison d’être: the independent press and journalism.
Let’s go back for a moment. In autumn 2018, the board of directors of Paperjam’s publishing company decided to focus its 25th anniversary on its “reinvention”, listening to its team, its readers, its members and its customers.
For six months we have been listening to you. You took the time to meet us in focus groups, to answer our online questionnaire or to participate in satisfaction surveys. More than 1,200 of you expressed your views on our work and your expectations. Thank you! Thank you!
During this time, we have carried out a similar process internally. Multiple workshops with executives and managers of Maison Moderne, national and international benchmarks, numerous brainstorming sessions…allowed us to work on our value proposition and the potential of the different markets.
We were interested in the future of the media and the media of the future.
Midway through the year, we share with you our first learning experiences and the main lines of our future development. In full transparency.
Let's start with the international context that affects the entire media sector. This context is particularly tense with:
a transformation of media business models;
a global advertising market dominated by the Facebook/Google duopoly, which alone accounts for more than 50% of online advertising and 89% of annual growth;
digitalisation, which also means a decrease in advertising revenue per player depending on the channel: print, web desktop, mobile web, social media;
an evolution of consumption patterns that goes in the opposite direction of value;
“Fake news”, which allows the news media to assert their role in defending democracy but which are also sources of confusion and mistrust, even resistance towards the so-called “traditional” media.
At the national level, we have focused on the legislative framework, the ranking of the top 20 media brands, TV-Radio-Print audiences over ten years and the use of languages in the workplace.
Concerning the legal framework for the media in Luxembourg, the government is working on a new law “on pluralism in professional information media”. While this law was first announced in 2014, it has been a “priority” for prime minister and media minister Xavier Bettel since 2017.
The media sector is eagerly awaiting the new draft law. And Maison Moderne in particular! Currently, out of the some €8 million of aid distributed by the government, Maison Moderne only receives €200,000. That is 2.5% of the total budget for the printed and online press. While two groups, Editpress and Saint-Paul Luxembourg, receive 75% of this aid, which aims to “promote pluralism” in the press.
Luxembourg's top 20 media brands
Here is the ranking of Luxembourg’s top twenty media brands according to their audience with residents. This ranking, which comes from TNSilres surveys, does not take into account the nearly 200,000 cross-border commuters who nevertheless consume one or more Luxembourg media on a daily basis.
An exceptional phenomenon in the European media landscape, is that an economic-financial monthly is ranked eleventh: Paperjam. It attracts just 6% less than the country's leading TV channel. This would be unimaginable on German or French markets.
1. RTL Radio Lëtzebuerg (Last period readership*: 176,000 / Penetration rate** among the resident population aged 15 and over*** 33.6%)
2. RTL.lu (157,900/31.2%)
3. Luxemburger Wort (152,400/30.1%)
4. l'Essentiel (118,400/23.4%)
5. Eldoradio (108,500/20.7%)
6. RTL Télé Lëtzebuerg (98,700/18.8%)
7. lessentiel.lu (97,500/19.3%)
8. Wort.lu (81,000/16%)
9. Télécran (71,700/14.2%)
10. Autorevue (61,600/12.2%)
11. Paperjam (61,500/12.2%)
12. Contacto (53.100/10,5%)
13. Automoto (53,000/10.5%)
14. Revue (48,500/9.6%)
15. RTL Radio "Oldie" (43,000/8.2%)
16. Tageblatt (40,500/8%)
17. l'Essentiel Radio (39,100/7.5%)
18. Femmes Magazine (36,900/7.3%)
19. RTL TV online (29,400/5.6%)
20. Radio 100.7 (26,600/5.1%)
* Readership last period: (definition)
**Penetration rate: (definition)
***12 years and over for radio and TV
Audience progression from 2009 to 2019
Considering the evolution of TV-Radio-Print audiences over ten years (source: Plurimédia TNSilres 2009-2019 studies), we can observe a decrease in the historical media brands: major dailies, family weeklies, television and radio.
Their offer no longer seems to meet consumer expectations, while some media are gaining in audience: 100.7, Eldoradio and, first and foremost, Paperjam.
Audience progression in Luxembourg
The rapid demographic dynamics that the country has experienced during this same period is one of the factors that explains this observation in terms of audiences.
Today, 614,000 people live in Luxembourg, compared to 493,500 in 2009. Almost half of residents are non-Luxembourgers.
When we look at national workforce, the figures are even more impressive. Of the 428,000 employees, nearly 200,000 are cross-border workers. Workers from France, Belgium and Germany totaled 146,000 in April 2009.
And of the 200,000 resident employees, only 114,000 are Luxembourgers, about half of whom work in the public and related sectors.
This data is reflected in the use of languages in the workplace, as Statec specified in April 2019:
78% of employees use French;
51% use English;
48% use Luxembourgish.
The 2019-2023 strategy of Maison Moderne
It is by embracing these profound demographic, cultural and linguistic movements that Maison Moderne will play a different role in the Luxembourg media landscape.
Our multi-year strategy, adopted in the autumn by our board of directors, is twofold.
On the one hand, we will consolidate our activities around our flagship brand Paperjam: independent journalism, the business club, strategic contract publishing and native advertising.
On the other hand, we will develop operational excellence to become an agile and efficient organisation.
We have also reformulated our mission:
To provide an independent and influential voice in the Luxembourg media landscape by offering quality journalism and establishing Paperjam as one of the country's leading media brands.
To commit ourselves to the long-term development of Luxembourg, contributing to societal change and the country's international influence.
To bring together the communities that drive Luxembourg forward in the main business club in the Grand Duchy, the Paperjam Club.
To act as a pioneer in the media industry.
To ensure profitability to guarantee our independence.
We listened to you, and we heard you.
For the next 25 years, Maison Moderne promises you strong media brands, exciting experiences, whether you are a reader and/or member as well as ROI for advertisers who trust us.
Our vision? Towards a modern Luxembourg, with the country's leading independent media company. Challenger today, leader tomorrow.
Mike Koedinger, founder and chairman of the board of directors of Maison Moderne.
Richard Karacian, CEO partner and director of Maison Moderne.
Founded in 1994, Maison Moderne currently employs 110 people and has a turnover of €13.7 million (2018). Its shareholders are the company's senior partners: Mike Koedinger (founder), Richard Karacian (CEO), Francis Gasparotto (advertising sales director) and Etienne Velasti (CFO).