Web Made Good

Case studies: África Monitor

A content security challenge for Africa Monitor

The people

Africa Monitor is an online newspaper and provider of business intelligence. Their service Africa Monitor Intelligence is a subscription-only newsletter which shares intelligence and tips about African business, particularly focused on the booming economies of East Africa.

The problem

Africa Monitor’s headache was that their electronic newsletter was easily copied and shared between users, and this piracy was reducing its value to potential new subscribers. Our job was to provide a way for Africa Monitor Intelligence to be read only by those who had paid for it, reducing piracy but still ensuring the newsletter was easily accessed by the right people.

The solution

This project presented some interesting technical hurdles. We needed to create a clear, engaging site that was responsive and mobile-first, and could deal with content in both English and Portuguese. Security was also a big challenge – we had to work to find a way to make the site function reliably for paying subscribers while remaining secure enough to ensure the continuing value of the subscription.

We created a system that empowers Africa Monitor to manage all their subscribers themselves. They can track users closely, making it easy to spot suspicious activity and clamp down on violations of the terms of their licence agreement. At the same, the new delivery system remains flexible enough for legitimate clients to access it from a number of different devices.

We also created a fully functioning online newspaper, importing content from a previous Luso Monitor website running a legacy Wordpress platform.

The results

Africa Monitor has succeeded in clamping down on the sharing of restricted content and is now accessed by hundreds of legitimate users every week. This helped strengthen the future of the company by safeguarding their business model.

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