FatChilli for Publishers

Martina Klárová, Research & Development Manager, Matej Borko, Innovation & Strategy Lead

Bratislava, Slovakia
FatChilli employees reading newspapers. The FatChilli team working at a computer.
A passion for press freedom

Based in Bratislava, Slovakia, Google Certified Publishing Partner FatChilli began as a web development studio, working with publishers to develop websites. The team is now celebrating its 20th anniversary, but it wasn’t until about 5 years ago that they shifted from developing websites to helping publishers optimize them.

“We saw that advertising wasn’t so popular with large news publishers,” Matej says. This observation led to a partnership with Dennik N, an independent news organization founded by five seasoned Slovak journalists who quit their jobs after a large investment firm took a significant stake in the newspaper they worked at. To keep their reporting free from special interests, they went out on their own in 2014 and created Dennik N (Dennik means daily newspaper, while N stands for Nezavislost, meaning independence.)

In 2018, the FatChilli team began helping Dennik N develop REMP or Reader Engagement and Monetization Platform, an open source software and subscription platform enabling journalists to connect directly with readers, which also received support from the Google Digital News Innovation Fund.

Within two years, Dennik N had 57,000 paying subscribers, securing a loyal following that allowed them to continue producing high quality, long-form journalism for readers. FatChilli has since implemented REMP to tens of outlets worldwide.

The FatChilli team gathered in a backyard. FatChilli employees talking together in an office.
The FatChilli team.
Finding a balance in profitability for publishers

The partnership with Dennik N and the 2018 assassination of the investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova, pushed FatChilli to continue their mission of allowing publishers to stay independent as a movement for press freedom grew. “We don't take democracy as granted,” Matej explains. “We believe that we have the right to be engaged and fight for freedom.”

Now they work with many publishers across the globe in locations including Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Americas and Southeast Asia to help them find a balance between ad-based and subscription models tailored to their needs. “Our continuous mission is to help publishers understand that revenue from advertising and revenue from their readers can work simultaneously,” Martina says.

For news website Vecer.com, FatChilli’s ad implementation increased their average ad CPM over 210% while improving the site’s user experience.

“We’re able to help publishers with our technology, empower them to become more sustainable, and diversify their revenue with ads and subscriptions,” Martina says. “When that happens, they’re able to create stories that actually matter - and even bring groundbreaking truths to light.”

“Our continuous mission is to help publishers understand that revenue from advertising and revenue from their readers can work simultaneously.”
The FatChilli team hanging out in a backyard.
Thriving as a Google Certified Publishing Partner

As Martina and Matej continue their mission to support sustainable news businesses, they choose to partner with Google to bring that mission to life. “Google is our key partner here,” says Martina. “With the aid of Google’s cutting-edge ad optimization tools, we’re able to support media outlets that rely solely on advertising revenue and those that use multiple revenue streams.”

Looking into their future, Martina and Matej continue to evolve with changes in the ecosystem. “We’re boosting our expertise in first–party identifiers like Google Ad Manager’s PPID functionality and integrating with Data Management Platforms,” Martina says.

With a passion for independent media, Martina and Matej forge ahead supporting the publishers they work with and build sustainable business models. “We believe in finding an optimal balance for publishers between subscriptions and ads to keep their businesses growing and engage their audiences.”

About the Publisher

​​FatChilli for Publishers is an innovative, creative and funky company that empowers publishers to thrive in the digital age. Comprised of a team of tech enthusiasts who value freedom above all, FatChilli is committed to supporting independent media outlets worldwide by providing them with the tools and guidance necessary to become a digital-DNA publisher.

Fatchilli's team of experts includes analysts, strategists, developers, and yield optimization specialists who work together to help publishers shape their digital strategy and optimize their revenue streams. They take a holistic approach at revenue diversification and provide expertise in ad revenue optimization, marketing automation, subscription and reader engagement tools, and advanced data collection and reporting.
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