Meet Christopher Keller! Christopher leads Telegraph Media Group’s strategic business development activities as a member of the Strategy & Business Development team. He is responsible for planning and delivering organic and non-organic growth initiatives that diversify TMG’s commercial activities. Christopher is always keen to learn about new business opportunities and is passionate about music and innovation. At the Sonophilia Winter Retreat, he will talk about creativity and the future of journalism in the age of technology.
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Sonophilia: What in your opinion are the biggest challenges journalism is facing right now? (Fake news, social media, paid content, or all?…)
Christopher Keller: It’s no secret journalism is in a challenging period. The rapid rise of the internet, followed by mobile as the dominant device and social as the dominant channel, has led to a world in which there are more ‘sources’ of news than ever before.
But whilst companies and technologies, such as Apple News, Twitter or Facebook, have the ability to aggregate content from a wide range of different sources and distribute it, they have also helped bring to light the phenomenon of “fake news”.
For all publishers, this is challenging. But we believe we also have a significant advantage and opportunity. At the heart of The Telegraph is quality journalism, and this is the key differentiator and way to address these challenges. It means our customers have trust in our brand. And we will need to continue to develop and grow our reputation in the face of the ever-changing media and technology landscape. This is why we will be investing in our core product and creating 39 new editorial jobs in 2018.
Sonophilia: How can a media institution like the Telegraph with its more than 150 old history prepare for the age of technology?
Christopher Keller: I would argue that the age of technology has already been underway for some time!
We recently announced our new vision to pioneer new ways to serve at least 10 million registered customers through quality journalism and experiences. The registration strategy is designed for the age of technology but also embraces our 163 years of history and experience.
It is supported by the fact that we have successfully evolved into a multi-platform digital news brand that continues to deliver the highest-quality journalism. For example, we have embraced new technologies such as SnapChat where we have a dedicated team of six, editing our 225 stories a day down to 10. Engaging users through playful animations and most importantly keeping them entertained so they complete our entire edition and we maximise our revenue potential.
Or our partnerships with Amazon for the Echo and Echo Show. The collaboration with Amazon provides The Telegraph another opportunity to engage new and existing customers whilst giving its audience a richer experience.
We are also the only UK reseller for Apple News, a partnership which has been really successful. Brokering several vertical video campaigns and launching new formats. Finally, our business model is evolving too. The Telegraph is focusing on diversifying into new revenue streams, including advertising, digital subscriptions, travel, financial services and events.
Sonophilia: Just recently you’ve acquired the exam preparation app Gojimo. What was the strategic idea behind this acquisition?
Christopher Keller: Although we’re the biggest quality newspaper in the UK and our print products are still very successful, we also know that more and more people are consuming our content predominantly on electronic devices. Especially their smartphones. Historically, young people became familiar with The Telegraph because they saw their parents reading it. Today, most of us have no idea what other family members are reading on their personal screens. Gojimo allows us to engage with new, young audiences and to empower more people to progress in life through the content we produce. It is already used by 1 in 3 GCSE and A-level students and that number is rising. It is also complementary to our university clearing app and, of course, our SnapChat channel.