Date

Thu - 23.11.2017


Piano Media hits the right note with €2 million backing

Piano Media hits the right note with €2 million backing

Joint paywall platform Piano Media announced today that it has acquired €2 million in growth capital from 3TS Capital Partners Technology in Central and Eastern Europe Fund, according to a press release. Piano will use the investment to expand its global development and marketing efforts, the release said.

Launched in Slovakia in May 2011 and later expanded to Slovenia in January 2012, Piano Media is an online subscription-based payment service that groups major media outlets into a national paywall, as we previously reported. Currently, 20 publishers with 60 news websites participate in the Piano Media system, according to the release.

Piano Chief Executive and Founder Tomáš Bella said in the press release, “Our €300,000 seed funding, raised in 2011, enabled us to launch in two countries and prove Piano’s model works. This deal represents the next step in Piano’s growth; helping speed our expansion, recruit top talent, ramp up our marketing, broaden our sales channels and keep improving our software.”

Pekka Mäki, Managing Partner of 3TS, explained the reasoning behind the investment, stating, “3TS targets investments in fast growing companies in central and eastern Europe and thus Piano Media is in the core of our focus given its global challenger potential,” according to the press release.

3TS Capital Partners is a venture capital firm in central and eastern Europe that invests primarily in technology, media, and communications ventures, the release said.

Piano Media has consistently reported success with its paywall model, in which users pay a flat rate for access to the content ranging from €0.99-1.99 per week and €2.90-4.89 per month. The company earned €40,000 in its first month of operation in Slovakia, as well as reporting a €26,000 revenue gain in its the first month of operation in Slovenia.

Piano previously suggested that it would expand to additional European markets, though it is unclear how well the joint paywall model would work in countries with larger media markets and many more Internet users than Slovakia or Slovenia. As we previously reported, Slovakia has 2.3 million Internet users, while Slovenia has only 1.2 million.

Still, the notion of a successful joint national paywall is certainly appealing, especially for countries where print revenues are declining at an alarming rate. In the Piano model, 30% of profits go to Piano Media, 30% go to the news sites visited by users, and 40% go to original site of subscription purchase.

Clearly, 3TS is confident in Piano Media’s model — it remains to be seen if other investors will follow suit and aid Piano in its attempts at European expansion.

Sources: Piano Media

Links:

http://www.sfnblog.com/2012/03/16/joint-paywall-music-to-slovenia-s-ears

http://www.sfnblog.com/2012/01/10/publishers-start-singing-to-pianos-tune-in-slovenia

http://www.sfnblog.com/2012/02/06/new-publishers-join-piano-medias-slovakian-paywall

Author

Gianna Walton

Date

2012-04-17 16:15

Shaping the Future of the News Publishing


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