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Building an innovation culture in a publishing business to reach new markets

This is an excerpt from our free-to-download report, Specialist Media Innovators in Europe

Specialist media businesses are thriving by serving consumer and professional communities around topics of interest. It is a bustling, agile sector with creator-led, consumer and B2B media. 

We interviewed six leaders from our featured companies to dig into their strategy, uncover best practices and learn about their future plans.

Video recordings of all interviews are available, and here are the highlights from the series.

#1: Creating a global expert community that powers events

#2: Developing new content and services for an entire ecosystem

#3: Landwirtschaftverlag

LV set up its idea lab in 2016 – called “Ideenbauer” – a play on the German word for both builder and farmer.  This brought together external NPD experts with teams drawn from the publishing business to test and develop ideas. 

Staff are encouraged to volunteer ideas, then work with the ideas lab to test whether there is a customer need and a viable business model.  Only a small number of ideas are progressed, but the ideas lab provides staff in the publishing business with tools and techniques to develop ideas. 

This is a long-term programme, about developing an NPD culture and skills across the entire business.  Have to be open-minded about an idea and invest time to research customers thoroughly before jumping to a solution.

Tracktorpool, a machinery marketplace, existed before the idea lab, and as a web-based business, has the potential to reach beyond Germany.  Platforms like, a livestock marketplace, developed by the idea lab, could also expand to new markets.

So developing an NPD culture will help LV reach beyond its traditional publishing customers.

LV has developed a daily online news service alongside its established print magazine Top Agrar.  A team of 20 was drawn from new hires and the publishing team and created original digital content, including articles and newsletters, for on a freemium model. Digital only subscribers now exceed 4000 and have a younger profile than existing print subscribers.

“I don’t like the term digital transformation as in a rapidly changing environment, it is never done. Better to develop the skills to continually adapt to change, to understand customer needs and develop new ideas and better products.”  

Michael Romer, Head of Product, LV

Specialist media, be that creator-, consumer-, or B2B-led, is a proven resilient segment of media. What’s more, they continue to innovate as they look for new and better ways to serve their special interest communities.

All on the shortlist answered an email questionnaire and six were interviewed on zoom. We have included a short profile of each business in this report. Here we have the full interview recordings with top innovators included in our Mx3 Leadership report on innovation and trends in specialist media in Europe.

To watch in-depth interviews with six specialist media leaders, click below to view the recordings.

Click here to watch the interviews

🗝️ Password is Mx3P@ssword

In the report, the best of Europe’s specialist media innovators share their experiences and strategies for growing revenues, including best practices, revenue sources, and investment priorities.

The “Specialist Media Innovators in Europe” report is free and available to download here.