Investment gamification

Unlocking Reader Retention: The Pathway to Success with Gamification

Unlocking Reader Retention: The Pathway to Success with Gamification
Norkon Team
July 28, 2023

Boosting User Retention: The Key to Sustaining Readership

In the quest to attract and convert readers into loyal subscribers, it’s crucial not to overlook the paramount importance of user retention. Every business, including newspapers, strives to minimize churn rates and retain their audience. Building reader habits emerges as a pivotal factor in this endeavor, as subscriber habits directly influence reader retention. According to the Medill Study, which investigates the motivations behind paying for local news, enticing readers to visit your website daily plays a pivotal role in establishing reader habits, thereby significantly increasing the likelihood of retaining them.

Beyond Just News: Unlocking the Power of Gamification

Newspapers have long recognized the value of incorporating captivating elements into their publications that extend beyond news itself. From entertaining comic strips to addictive crossword puzzles and brain-teasing sudokus, games have consistently proven successful in engaging readers and promoting daily readership.

Case in point, The Wall Street Journal observed that puzzles played a significant role in reducing churn. Consequently, they strategically integrated puzzles into their onboarding experience to encourage subscribers to make a habit of playing daily (source: Twipe).

Games: Bridging Engagement for New and Existing Readers

Games have an uncanny ability to captivate not only new readers but also existing ones. They serve as a powerful tool for newspapers to offer added value to their subscribers, creating an extra layer of engagement and enhancing the stickiness of their website. With equal percentages of engagement among both new and existing readers, newspapers can leverage games to bolster user retention and deliver an enriched reading experience.

Newspaper gamification strategy

No “one-game-fits all”: What options for business and financial newspapers?

Gamification is a concept that Kauppalehti, one of Finland’s leading business newspapers, had already explored in an attempt to bring a fun and engaging element to their news site. Having tried various small games such as puzzles or daily quizzes that relate to the financial news being covered, Kauppalehti was able to achieve only limited results in attracting their desired target audience.

This led Kauppalehti to take a step further, as part of their objectives were to engage with a younger audience as well as a female audience. In January 2023, Kauppalehti launched its first stock market game powered by the Fantasy Funds platform and saw immediate results. During the 5 weeks the game lasted the newspaper was able to register a whooping number of 24k players and maintain a high level of activity through in-game incentives, such as weekly prizes.

Kauppalethi attracts new audiences with gamification


Dagens industri (Di) in Sweden launched Drömportföljen (Dream Portfolio), a time-based online trading game powered by the Fantasy Funds platform. Using real-world stock market data, gamified trading provided not only the engagement and educational opportunity Di’s readers wanted but also a risk-free way to learn firsthand how trading works and test investment strategies.

“Ultimately, making Drömportföljen more aspirational, giving players the possibility for something that would otherwise be unachievable, such as playing with millions, rather than just 100,000, would be a real incentive to play. People compete in games like this to enter a new world and expand horizons, not to play it safe as in daily life,” explains Johan Östberg, business developer and project manager at Di. “After all, it is called “dream portfolio” for a reason, and players should be given a reason to dream.”

Fantasy Funds promotional ad for Di

“Are you Sweden’s best investor?”

Adding value for readers

Games and educational content have become valuable additions to newspaper readership, offering a multifaceted approach to engage and enrich readers’ experiences. By incorporating games, newspapers provide a recreational outlet that challenges readers’ cognitive abilities and encourages critical thinking. These interactive elements foster mental agility and problem-solving skills while entertaining and stimulating readers. Furthermore, newspapers featuring educational content, such as informative articles, in-depth analysis, and thought-provoking editorials, offer readers opportunities to expand their knowledge and engage with current affairs.

A survey among registered Fantasy Funds players indicated their reason for participating in the game:

newspaper player statistics

By presenting a diverse range of subjects, newspapers with educational content encourage readers to explore new topics, gain insights, and develop a broader perspective on various issues. 

This integration of games and educational content adds value to newspaper readership by promoting intellectual growth, enhancing engagement, and offering a well-rounded experience for readers of all ages.

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