Handelszeitung: leading Swiss business newspaper goes mobile with Contentful

Handelszeitung, the leading Swiss economy publication, built mobile apps for iOS and Android in just several weeks, significantly leveraging the publisher's prior investment in Kompakt App, the mobile news app built by Axel Springer. Contentful powers the content management for these apps.


Handelszeitung's main digital presence is a responsive website based on Drupal 6. In addition, the publisher wanted to create a custom mobile experience and in 2011 launched an e-paper edition to tap a mobile audience and improve the reading experience on the go. Furthermore, the team at Handelszeitung decided in 2015 to launch a native mobile app experience for a large audience of commuting business professionals.

Opportunity: how to build native mobile apps faster

Handelszeitung, the property of Axel Springer Switzerland, will become part of a planned joint venture between Ringier and Axel Springer Switzerland. The latter has released Kompakt, a mobile news app in 2014. With its innovative and mobile-optimized reading experience, the app was well received, winning several awards including App of the Year in 2014 by Apple for the iOS version and Best mobile service in European Digital Media Award 2015.

Axel Springer uses Contentful as the content management system for the Kompakt app. The team at Handelszeitung came up with the idea of reusing the existing investment to speed up its own deployment.


The team at Handelszeitung reused the same code base to build the iOS and Android mobile apps, both for smartphones and tablets. Naturally, they changed the visual appearance to be in line with the Handelszeitung brand and to appropriately reflect the topic.

They also employed Retresco for semantic analysis, supporting the interactive opinion feature, and pushwhoosh for sending personalized push notifications and in-app messages.


Handelszeitung set a new implementation speed record, completing the project in just 4 weeks, as normally projects of such a scale take some several months to be carried out.

The editorial team, which currently consists of 10 people working across several time zones, produces more than 30 stories every day.

"We liked the idea from the start. One of the key promises of Contentful is being able to reuse content and content models across different channels and devices. It is great to see this promise being validated with a brand as reputable as Handelszeitung." -- Sascha Konietzke, CEO at Contentful

"We really felt our mobile presence was lacking, given our strong market position as a business and economics newspaper in Switzerland. At the same time, with a small product team and few product resources, we knew we needed to be creative in rolling a mobile project out. Leveraging the existing Kompakt app really gave us a highly efficient implementation path and a really short time-to-market." -- Katja Reck, Head of Digital Media at Handelszeitung


The Handelszeitung mobile project is a great example of an efficient and modern approach to digital publishing, showing that it is not always necessary to build every project from scratch. Contentful, designed for cross-platform publishing from the start, enables a low total cost of ownership and a quick development turnaround. These are the advantages and benefits of using a structured, decoupled and unified content database in place of a heterogenous legacy CMS.

Read more about the project on the Handelzeitung website.

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