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Jari Lahti: Personal Yle – Public Service Media at its best

Mies kasvokuvassa, taustalla kanban-seinä ja tehtävälappuja.
Mies kasvokuvassa, taustalla kanban-seinä ja tehtävälappuja. Picture by: Yle / Jari Lahti jari lahti

When media content - video, audio and text - is available all the time, what will you watch, listen or read at any given time? Rest assured, we have a recommendation for you.

Content discovery has always been an issue for media publishers, and it is more important than ever in the current mobile media environment (infographics). On the limited screen space of the mobile device, the content promoted must be relevant to the user’s needs in the time and place where she finds herself. Efficient tools are needed to match the right content to the user’s context.

Our vision is to offer the best personal user experience in comparison to other media apps (Yle 2020 strategy). We will achieve it by providing conveniently accessible high quality public service content, available to consume at the time of the user’s own choice.

By doing so, we are proud to be a frontrunner among public service media companies (Reuters Institute: Public Service News and Digital Media).

Personalization at Yle today

Yle already offers several personalized services:

  • The news watch app
  • Local Yle news and local weather
  • Yle Sport customizable online service
  • Yle Areena personal favorites (
  • Continued viewing on another device.

We optimize the user interfaces for personalized experience based on the user’s active choices regarding type of content, local weather, or news, and the user’s viewing and listening history.

The user experience is further improved by the much-requested functionality of saving video and audio for offline use.

Yle has launched personal service communications. We engage our users with personalized communications and recommendations. In the near future, Yle Areena will begin reminding of the programs that are interesting to the user by notifications.

Global trend across industries

Personalizing the content and services is essential for Public Service Media in reaching different audiences and staying competitive in the international and domestic comparison.

Personal service is a global trend across all industries. The degree of personalization depends on the customer’s media behaviour and choices as well as the publishers’ way of operating its algorithms. Great examples can be found in retail business.

The potential risk of creating filter bubbles is tackled by creating a balanced content offer and always including editorial choice. Audiences prefer the mix of these both, according to research.

Trust makes data driven culture possible

Enabling us in the creation of a personal user experience there is a data driven culture. We build the technical architecture, such as a data cloud, where we capture data from various sources to enrich it. We build tools, such as dashboards, to content creators, publishers and decision makers, with the data. Insight, intuition and creative solutions become more powerful when they can be validated by data. The broader and the more real-time the data is, the better it serves us in optimizing the publishing choices.

The prerequisite for data driven operation is that users grant us the permission to gather and use their data. Yle ID, Yle Tunnus is our means to that end. Logging in to Yle ID while using our services helps us collect and combine usage data for the benefit our our users. Yle Tunnus is a safe and simple authentication solution by the Finnish Broadcasting Company. Authenticated users can enjoy personalized content and services. Nearly half a million Finns have already created Yle ID’s and we expect there to be one million by the end of 2017.

We want to be responsible with your data and only collect it for identified purposes. We want to be transparent: we offer our users a clear view on the data we have collected, ie. personal use history of Yle services. Finally, we want to be user-oriented: the user is on the driver’s seat, deciding what level of information is collected and what it can be used for. To earn your trust is essential on collecting data and using it for the benefit our users. It is only when you find that Yle’s journalism, culture, learning, or sports content – has become more meaningful to you personally, we have succeeded.

Jari Lahti, Chief Strategy Officer Of Yle Media