STAR MOMENTS 2019

Otava is a source of both insight and experiences – a publishing house with strong roots and an inspiring future. Otava experienced many star moments in 2019.

Audio is a growing content format

Otava already holds a key position in the market for audio and other growing content formats, and intends to increase its market share in e-publishing.

Net sales of audiobooks have trebled on the previous year.

We have a business team that focuses on audiobooks and will be releasing a total of more than a thousand audiobooks and e-books in 2020.

Audiobooks also appeal to a different audience than printed books. It is 25–35 year-olds who are listening to audiobooks – a clearly younger age group than those who read printed books.

The way books are being used is changing, as you can now enjoy a book while doing other things, like housework or a hobby.

The concept of ‘a book’ is also expanding. In 2019, Otava signed its first audio-only publishing contract. This means that the book will only be published as an audio file.

The concept of ‘a book’ is also expanding. In 2019, Otava signed its first audio-only publishing contract. This means that the book will only be published as an audio file.

It is 25–35 year-olds who are listening to audiobooks – a clearly younger age group than those who read printed books.

There has been no fall in sales of printed books from Otava presses, and we increased our market share in all literary genres.

Our bookstore business has reacted to changes in the way consumers spend their free time. Suomalainen Kirjakauppa decided to focus on creating its own livestream service: Suomalainen Plus.

Suomalainen also enhanced its range in growing product categories, such as toys, boardgames, jigsaw puzzles and handicrafts.

These product groups, collectively known as leisure-time goods, are a major growth area that is already generating more than half of our margin in the bookstore business. New brands in Suomalainen stores included Marimekko, Lapuan Kankurit and Aarikka.

“Our modern webstore platform is user-friendly for customers, while also being flexible and easily adaptable with regard to webstore development.”

MANAGING DIRECTOR, SUOMALAINEN KIRJAKAUPPA LTD MINNA KOKKA

The best-selling books were Thomas Erikson’s Surrounded by Idiots, Jari Tervo’s Loiri, Pajtim Statovci’s Bolla and Enni Mustonen’s Sotaleski.

An overhaul of Suomalainen Kirjakauppa’s webstore platform in 2019 made it more agile in meeting customers’ needs. Our modern webstore platform is user-friendly for customers, while also being flexible and easily adaptable with regard to webstore development.

It is now common for video, audio and game content to be harnessed in learning.

Otava has a total of about 2,300 products for upper secondary schools, about 43 per cent of which is digital content.

Learning is also going digital in leaps and bounds. Digital learning materials are in increasing demand, particularly among upper secondary schools preparing for the new National Curriculum. It is now common for video, audio and game content to be harnessed in learning. 

Otava has a total of about 2,300 products for upper secondary schools, about 43 per cent of which is digital content.

Otava Learning’s service business also diversifies Otava’s offering with services such as digital coaching for teachers. Otava is a partner that supports teachers throughout the school day.  

Everything revolves around top-quality content 

Otava’s long-term commitment to producing top-quality content was evident in the awards we received during 2019.

The crowning glory of our publishing year was when Pajtim Statovci’s novel Bolla, a novel published by Otava, won the Finlandia Prize for Fiction, and the Finlandia Prize for Non-fiction went to Metsä meidän jälkeemme, a book  published by Like and written by Anssi Jokiranta, Pekka Juntti, Anna Ruohonen and Jenni Räinä.

Statovci’s novel Crossing was also one of the five finalists for the US National Book Award for Translated Literature. No other Finnish book has achieved anything comparable.

The crowning glory of our publishing year was when Pajtim Statovci’s novel Bolla, a novel published by Otava, won the Finlandia Prize for Fiction, and the Finlandia Prize for Non-fiction went to Metsä meidän jälkeemme, a book  published by Like and written by Anssi Jokiranta, Pekka Juntti, Anna Ruohonen and Jenni Räinä.

Finnish literature enjoys a good reputation globally, and numerous awards have demonstrated the quality of Otava’s publishing programme.

J.P. Koskinen’s Tulisiipi won the Savonia Literature Prize and was also chosen as Suomalainen Kirjakauppa’s 2019 Book of the Year. The novel was nominated for the Finlandia Prize for Fiction as well.

The Arts Council of Satakunta presented its 2019 award to Hanna-Riikka Kuisma, an author from Pori. Kuisma has written short stories and five novels, the latest of which is Kerrostalo. Kerrostalo was also nominated for the Finlandia Prize for Fiction.

“Finnish literature enjoys a good reputation globally.”

MANAGING DIRECTOR, OTAVA PUBLISHING LTD PASI VAINIO

There has also been recognition for the high-quality content of Otava’s magazines. Our magazines won several awards in 2019. Tekniikan Maailma and Suomen Kuvalehti won the Bonnier Grand Prize for Journalism.

Suomen Kuvalehti also won Aikakausmedia’s reportage photography award.

Seura received the Finnish Association for Investigative Journalism’s Snow Shovel award.

Growth in digital publishing

2019 was a successful year for Otava’s media brands. Against the general trend in the industry, we managed to increase our magazine sales in terms of both individual issues and new subscriptions.

We met our earnings targets for 2019.

Even though the magazine advertising market remains challenging, Otava fared better than its competitors in 2019.

2019 was also a good year for our digital business. During the year, visitor numbers rose on all of the main websites belonging to Otava’s media brands. Website platforms have been overhauled and, for example, Tekniikan Maailma’s website has significantly increased both its visitor numbers and site views.

In 2020, we will be further intensifying our digital business activities in particular.

In 2020, we will be further intensifying our digital business activities in particular. We will be expanding our target groups in multiple channels in the digital sale and marketing of both print and digital content. 

Otavamedia provides a media environment with requirement-driven solutions that meet customer expectations, for both our B2C and B2B clients.

Against the general trend in the industry, we managed to increase our magazine sales both in terms of individual issues and subscription renewals.

Data improves the customer experience 

Data and analytics will play a greater role in both content production and Otava’s customer experience.

We’ll be investing in personnel’s competence development in order to keep pace with the accelerating changes in Otava’s operating environment. We want everyone at Otava to have the right attitude towards learning new things and changing in tandem with our partners, whilst ensuring that we all have the desire and ability to do so

This will enable us to continue producing top-quality content that remains commercially competitive, relevant and interesting to both our readers and website visitors.    

”We’ll be further improving our customer experience with the aid of customer data in particular. This will ensure that the quality of our content remains commercially competitive, relevant and interesting to both our readers and website visitors.”

MANAGING DIRECTOR, OTAVAMEDIA LTD TIMO KOPRA

We will be further improving our customer experience by, for example, enriching the customer data available from magazine subscriptions. One example of this will be the creation of an Otavamedia account, that is, customers will be automatically registered for digital services when they purchase a subscription to access content behind our paywall.

Data is also becoming more significant in our Marketplaces business area. In addition to customer data, Marketplaces also has data about vehicles and other products that are sold.

As a consequence of the GDPR, the processing of customer data has become more important within our organisation in recent years. We will be actively monitoring this field, as new regulations will continue to come into force.

OmaNettix is just one of the services provided by the Marketplaces platform.

OmaNettix was launched to help consumers looking to buy a car. This service provides an effortless way to buy or sell vehicles. The entire transaction can be handled easily and reliably on a mobile device. When customers pay using Nettix’s own Nettimaksu service, the seller can be confident that the money will soon appear in their account.

The buyer can also rest assured that the vehicle’s details are correct and the seller has been verified as the registered owner.

A digital environment enables platform economy companies to develop new services without the need for major investments. Nettix is actively involved in this new trend.  

Customers are seeking a good service experience and online payments form an integral part of this.       

Marketplaces’ best-known products are Nettiauto and Nettimoto.

Marketplaces will be able to provide advertisers with even more diverse marketing communications and sales solutions.

The primary goal of our R&D is to enable easy and trustworthy transactions for all parties.

The services combine AI with customer data and vehicle details, thereby enabling us to provide an even more user-friendly UI for consumers looking to buy a car.

Technological expertise and our personnel’s digital skills have been identified as a competitive edge that will be maintained through knowledge sharing and competence development.

“Our UI must be even smarter. Consumers need to be provided with an even better platform that combines AI, visitor data and vehicle data. Technological expertise is a competitive advantage.”

DIRECTOR, OTAVA MARKETPLACES JAAKKO HAAPAKANGAS

At the end of the review period, Otava Markkinapaikat Ltd’s companies Ampparit Ltd and SL-Mediat Ltd were merged into Nettix Ltd.

The new Nettix Ltd’s marketplaces and tradenames will continue as their own profit centres after the merger: Marketplaces, Professional Media, and News Services. Marketplaces’ best-known products are Nettiauto and Nettimoto. Konepörssi is Professional Media’s top product, and the Ampparit news aggregator is the spearhead in News Services.

This new package will enable Marketplaces to provide advertisers with even more diverse marketing communications and sales solutions. We operate under the Nettix name when dealing with customers.

We want to see our customer accounts as a unified whole, which means sharing data between units is important.