GERMANY FIFTH EUROPEAN COUNTRY TO LAUNCH GROUND-BREAKING PREMIUM WEB SERVICE
German national newspaper Die Zeit today launched the fifth Weight Club premium service in Europe – e-balance.de. The service is the latest to utilize the packaged concept provided by Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet in co-operation with Scandinavia's leading Enterprise Content Management software vendor Polopoly.
The Weight Club offers its subscribers detailed diets and exercise programmes tailored to each individual user, including hundreds of healthy and simple recipes. Members receive online support through expert advice, member communities and easy-to-follow progress monitors. The Weight Club solution uses a scientifically proven weight loss method in combination with cutting edge personalized web technology. Aftonbladet's own Weight Club service - Viktklubb.se - has attracted more than 150.000 paying members since the start in 2003, and reached profitability two months after the initial launch. In collaboration with Swedish software company Polopoly, this premium service is offered as a white-label turnkey solution, ready for launch in any language with a minimized time-to-market. Building on Polopoly's highly acclaimed Enterprise Content Management system, the design of each local service can be aligned to the media partner's specific branding and communications profile, while enabling core functionality to be developed jointly. "The use of cutting-edge content management technology to package a revenue generating solution, while still allowing the customer to retain complete control over branding and content, is something which hasn't been done before on this scale" states Gustaf Sahlman, Polopoly CEO. "With the input and experience gained from our international partner network, we are in a unique position of being able to continually develop the solution to stay ahead on the marketplace." The solution was first offered to the international media community at the World Electronic Publishing Conference in Prague in November 2004. Leading international online media companies wishing to take advantage of large traffic volumes, and convert free visitors to paying subscribers, were offered to license the solution on an exclusive basis. Since then, localized Weight Club services have been launched throughout Europe: ·In Norway, newspaper Verdens Gang launched Vektklubb.no in May 2005, and has already attracted over 20,000 members; ·In the Netherlands, Fitclub B.V. - a cooperation between Dutch newspaper companies De Telegraaf and NDC Group - have been introducing the Fitclub.nl service gradually since early summer; ·The Swiss Weight Club service - eBalance.ch – was launched on October 3 by Swiss national newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung’s new media division, NZZ Online; and ·Today, German newspaper Die Zeit launched the latest venture: e-Balance.de. "The interest showed by media companies internationally has been quite overwhelming - we are currently in talks with potential partners in a number of other regions", says Göran Fröjdh, Business Developer at Aftonbladet. The solution and current partner status will be presented in more detail at the annual Ifra/WAN/FIPP World Digital Publishing Conference being held on 10-11 November 2005 in Madrid, Spain.