piano, a media software company, helps media companies increase their customer base and expand revenue streams.The company is the result of a combination between three companies: Journalism Online, TinyPass and Piano Media.
Piano (online at piano.io) is based in New York, but has software development teams all over the globe. Piano provides its services to all kinds of media, from newspapers to TV. Some of the firm's major clients include GateHouse Media, Business Insider and the NewYork Post.
“Piano helps the world's leading media companies build direct-to-consumer digital businesses. We do that by providing state-of-the-art, easy-to-use software and expert strategy and client services to help our clients drive customer engagement, loyalty, conversion and revenue,” says Michael Silberman, senior vice president of strategy at Piano.
Piano offers a wide range of programs such as Piano VX, Composer, ID, strategic services and optimization services. The programs can be used together or with other programs and services the client is already using.
“It depends on the business relationship. Many clients license all our software, but some have existing software products that they want us to integrate with their systems. For example, Piano ID is a relatively recent addition to our product suite, so we have several clients who have asked us to integrate with other identity-management systems,” says Silberman.
“They do integrate well with DTI, our circulation system,” said Robert Saurer, vice president of consumer marketing at GateHouse, explaining how Piano works with GateHouse's existing processes. “As well, they integrate with MAAX, our data warehouse. We do have an API to our email platform SalesForce, where we run specific journeys and campaigns. In the past, we had a difficult time marketing to digital formers but now with Piano and SalesForce, we are able use both platforms in a coordinated fashion,” Saurer says.
Each Piano product has its own purpose. Silberman offers a brief explanation of each.
Piano VX: VX, or “value exchange,” manages paid subscriptions and related value exchanges (i.e. paywalls), like exchanging registration or personal data for content.
Piano Composer: A business rule engine, allowing digital business managers to create a flexible site experiences and customer messaging, such as sign-ups, subscriptions offers and paywall messaging.
Piano ID: An identity management solution for media companies which can manage customer identities and provides single sign-on and access control for each point of engagement, such as print, digital, mobile, web and native apps.
Piano AI: According to Piano’s website, AI targets audience data for publishers and editors.This data helps to reveal customer preferences, with the goal more advertising and subscriptions.
Strategic Strategies: Piano's strategic planning team helps clients build new customer and revenue streams by gathering data and intelligence to assess the audience's needs. This helps clients develop a product with their audience in mind.
Optimization Services: A team of digital marketing experts helps to maximize customer engagement by managing customer marketing campaigns, optimizing pricing and making sure clients retain customers.
According to Piano and Saurer, GateHouse uses Composer, Piano ID and Piano VX.
“We liked Composer and the ability to change experiences, along with the ability to segment our readers into groups that we can treat differently. In particular, frequent visitors versus grazers are going to get a different approach as we move forward,” says Saurer.
A large focal point for Piano is to help its clients achieve their goals of reaching more customers, and therefore, expanding their revenue streams.
“We increased digital subs by 43 percent year to year. We also have been able to add papers to the platform, now up to 140, plus properties. Our all access base has increased as well, up to 45 percent.”
Saurer goes on to say that revenue has also increased by 43 percent, and explains that the increase in revenue “far exceeds“ the cost of Piano's services.