MTH Unboxing: Snaque

The MTH Unboxing is a month­ly for­mat. One start­up from the port­fo­lio of the Media­Tech Hub Acce­le­ra­tor will be pre­sen­ted in each issue. This time, you will learn more about the media­tech start­up snaque.

On many plat­forms and news por­tals, pay­walls are now well estab­lished. Lar­ge publishers rely on them just as much as small local news­rooms. In most cases, pay­walls are direct­ly lin­ked to a sub­scrip­ti­on model, which makes it dif­fi­cult for many users to get access to the con­tent - regard­less of whe­ther they are not able or wil­ling to pay for a subscription. 

This is whe­re Snaque, the start­up from the Media­Tech Hub Acce­le­ra­tor, comes into play. The Ber­lin-based start-up has deve­lo­ped the so-cal­led “play­wall”. With this play­wall, rea­ders can “unlock” pre­mi­um con­tent. In the cur­rent issue of the MTH Unboxing, the two foun­ders, Kat­ja Wal­dor and Hen­ning Till­mann, explain the value of the play­wall and how it works. 

MTH Acce­le­ra­tor: What did you do befo­re Snaque?

Snaque: Being an inter­di­sci­pli­na­ry team, we had both done some­thing com­ple­te­ly dif­fe­rent: Hen­ning had work­ed as a self-employ­ed soft­ware deve­lo­per and I was the mana­ging direc­tor of a PR agen­cy spe­cia­li­sing in tech com­pa­nies. So we com­ple­ment each other perfectly. 

MTH Acce­le­ra­tor: How did Snaque come to be founded?

Snaque: The idea for Snaque came to us after the first lock­down. The pan­de­mic with all its con­spi­ra­cy theo­ries and mis­in­for­ma­ti­on show­ed how important it is to have free access to well-rese­ar­ched, valid infor­ma­ti­on. On the other hand, it’s also very clear that the­re must be a fair remu­ne­ra­ti­on for jour­na­lism. That’s when we came up with the idea of sim­ply adding a play­wall to con­ven­tio­nal pay­walls. The idea was to crea­te an offer for thoss rea­ders who don’t want or can’t afford all kinds of sub­scrip­ti­ons. At the same time, we wan­ted to offer added value for the publishers and adver­ti­sers. Snaque wants to give publishers the oppor­tu­ni­ty to mone­ti­se more rea­ders and redu­ce the often very high boun­ce rates at pay­walls; adver­ti­sers, on the other hand, should get a chan­ce with this new adver­ti­sing for­mat to inter­act direct­ly with their tar­get group. 

MTH Acce­le­ra­tor: What is Snaque anyway?

Snaque: Snaque offers publishers a soft­ware that com­ple­ments their tra­di­tio­nal pay­wall by a “Snaque Play­wall”. Our software’s “play to pay” approach enables publishers to mone­ti­se rea­ders who nor­mal­ly boun­ce off pay­walls. The Play­wall wid­get offers image or video-based short sur­veys and mini-games spon­so­red by adver­ti­sers. After inter­ac­ting with the brand’s con­tent, rea­ders recei­ve cus­to­mi­sed offers of pro­ducts and can acti­va­te the artic­le. In turn, the adver­ti­ser pays for the acti­va­ted article. 

MTH Acce­le­ra­tor: What made you deci­de to app­ly for the Media Foun­ders Pro­gram­me? What did you hope to gain and what have you alre­a­dy been able to get out of par­ti­ci­pa­ting in the programme? 

Snaque: We had dis­co­ver­ed the Media Foun­ders Pro­gram­me by chan­ce in a trade publi­ca­ti­on and felt that the approach of finan­cial sup­port, net­work access and coa­ching per­fect­ly reflec­ted our situa­ti­on at the time. We con­cen­tra­ted on deve­lo­ping the pro­duct and pre­pa­ring the mar­ket ent­ry during the first pha­se of the pro­gram­me. So it was very useful to recei­ve finan­cial sup­port and be able to ask ques­ti­ons and get advice. And the direct exch­an­ge with experts from the MTH Acce­le­ra­tor and coa­ches in the second pha­se hel­ped us a lot. 

MTH Acce­le­ra­tor: What is your mission?

Snaque: Our mis­si­on is to sup­port qua­li­ty jour­na­lism with the Snaque play­wall, make it acces­si­ble for more peo­p­le, and make adver­ti­sing more inter­ac­ti­ve and enter­tai­ning with our new ad formats.

MTH Acce­le­ra­tor: And last but not least: what do you do when you just hap­pen to be not working on Snaque?

Snaque: Hen­ning is acti­ve in digi­tal poli­tics and a mem­ber of the advi­so­ry board for the fede­ral government’s Digi­tal Stra­tegy. And, apart from that, he always has a gui­tar within easy reach. When it hap­pens that I’m not working on Snaque, I am spen­ding time in my allot­ment, enjoy­ing a good video game or play­ing Lego with my son. 

© Pho­to by Domi­nik Butzmann