PDA: Telegraph.co.uk will chase channels not web traffic, says digital editor

Telegraph.co.uk will move away from chasing high reader numbers online to focusing on “content, commerce and clubs”, says Edward Roussel, digital editor at the Telegraph, in this interview with PDA.

With the realisation that high web traffic figures does not guarantee a sustainable business model, Roussel says the focus will now be on developing channels. Part of this will be the work of Project Euston, the Telegraph’s new digital entrepreneurial unit led by Will Lewis, which has now been up and running for three weeks.

Euston is not a private club where only certain people can operate. It is designed openly. We have done it so that any one of our over 500 journalists who has a brilliant idea can apply for funding and other resource, and try to make it a reality.

The channel strategy will focus on creating content and commercial opportunities, such as shops and clubs, around niche areas and PDA picks up on the site’s existing gardening section, which carries a shop and drives readers to buy.

While there are opportunities to charge for access to certain areas, such as crosswords, by setting up clubs, Roussel adds that there are no immediate plans in place to go behind a universal paywall.

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