‘HappyWall’, a Belgian innovation project that strives for better user experience and higher conversion with readers of online newspapers, will receive funding from Google. The news was announced on November 17th. The funding comes from the Google Digital News Initiative (DNI), through which Google aims for better journalism by using innovative technology. ‘HappyWall’ is the only Belgian project to receive funding in this round of DNI.

‘HappyWall’ is a cooperation between Mediafin (publisher of financial newspapers De Tijd and l’Echo), NGDATA and Adhese. The aim of the project is double. For the editors of both newspapers a dashboard will be designed that will provide insight on how users interact with specific online content. For users a dynamic, personalised paywall will be set up on the online edition of both De Tijd and l’Echo.

‘HappyWall’ wants to offer users a better online experience by providing them with content tailored to their interests and preferences. This should lead to a higher conversion rate and expansion of the number of (payed) subscribers.

International acknowledgement for Belgian innovation

‘HappyWall’ is a new innovation project that will take the results of a prior cooperation between Mediafin, Adhese and iMinds one step further. The international acknowledgement and support from Google means a lot to the partners involved.

‘Consumers more and more want to be approached as an individual. Up until now paywalls were collective solutions. They missed a personal and dynamic approach, thus sometimes missing the opportunity to convert readers’ says Steven Noels, CTO at NGDATA. ‘We’re excited to be part of the HappyWall project. We aim to make paywalls even more productive. By combining Lily Enterprise with the Adhese ad server we hope to help Mediafin to become even more efficient at converting readers to paying subscribers.’

‘The nice thing about HappyWall is the match between the editorial knowledge of De Tijd and l’Echo and the real time insights and more personal approach of our readers’ says Tom Peeters, multimedia manager at Mediafin. ‘Our readers get a better user experience: we hope this leads to an increase of paying subscribers.’

‘HappyWall is a logical next step following the successful ABS-project. Adhese and Mediafin have shown to be able to personalise an online news platform in a live and real time environment. Our technology enables publishers to distribute their content in a much more dynamic way and to offer a personalised experience to each individual user’ says Sven Marievoet, managing partner at Adhese. ‘We’re excited to take our research one step further. The recognition and support from Google show we are on the right path.’ 

You might also be interested in: Research and development: a dynamic paywall for Belgian newspaper De Tijd.


Innovative Belgian media project receives funding from Google
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