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Exclusive Interview with Peter Würtenberger, CEO upday Article

Peter Würtenberger is CEO of upday, which is a product that has been developed under the terms of a strategic partnership between Axel Springer and Samsung Electronics. This personalised, aggregated news service will revolutionise the way Galaxy customers read the news.

Peter, can you tell us a little about upday?

upday is a start-up in the vibrant city of Berlin. It’s the first full service to be borne out of a new strategic partnership formed by Axel Springer and Samsung Electronics last year. upday is a personalised news service, built and run by Axel Springer, for Samsung flagship smartphones across Europe. upday is integrated seamlessly into the user experience of the new smartphones – just one right swipe on the home screen opens the news service.

You’ve worked in the tech sector for many years. What have been the most fundamental changes you’ve seen in mobile marketing over that time?

Mobile Marketing will be everything and everywhere. Ad blocking will continue to be a big buzzword, but marketers will use mobile to create better, more personalized user experiences and to foster customer relations. There will be more and more location-based services and augmented and virtual reality in mobile marketing, as well as video, including livestreams, 360-degree videos, and shoppable videos. If you look at the fascinating features of Samsung’s new S7, then you can imagine the new possibilities for marketers.

How do you think that upday will change the user experience?

upday is integrated seamlessly into the user experience of the new smartphones – just one right swipe on the home screen opens the news service. When users enter upday (owners of older Samsung devices can download the app), publisher content is presented in the platform’s own card format, Tinder-style, and users swipe up to get to the next article. Articles are separated into “Need to Know” news, often breaking news that will be curated by a local team of journalists. Readers see between six and eight new stories each time they visit upday, and users can opt into getting push notifications. “Want to Know” articles are sourced by an algorithm based on the preferences entered by first-time users.

You will be speaking as part of the Mobile Marketing & Strategy conference track at Apps World in Berlin on ‘brands engaging with the digital customer’. What advice to  you have to start-ups trying to penetrate through the digital noise and speak directly to the customer?

Work on your story! Only a good narrative makes the difference and can fascinate and involve a very picky audience of investors and customers.

Berlin has a thriving start-up tech scene is often referred to as the ‘Silicon Valley of Europe’. As a local, do  you think  there are particular facets of the city that lend itself to becoming a tech hub?

Berlin is not only a cool place which attracts creative and tech talents from all over the world. It is also a strong cluster. An extensive ecosystem of young entrepreneurs and pioneers with new ideas and highly qualified people such as programmers and managers who can turn these ideas into viable products. Berlin also attracts the kind of venture capitalists who made Silicon Valley what it is today.

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