Digital boost for VRT start-up

Blog: Digital boost for VRT start-up

VRT Start-Up

VRT Start-Up is the innovation department of VRT, the public broadcaster in Belgium. They are continuously in search for new ways to achieve the service mission of the VRT. They do this by setting up inspiring experiments for specifc VRT brands. In which they focus on the needs of the user, with special attention to the increasing number of available digital media. VRT Start-Up works as a "lean start-up: they learn by doing. New insights are translated into formats, media products and working methods.


Due to the changing news consumption (online and mobile) VRT news needed a digital boost to evolve with the changing media needs and media behavior of its audience. That's why the News Hub was created: a mixed team of editorial staff, VRT Start-Up experts and additional consultants. This team studied the possibilities of delivering news through mobile channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp. One of our analytics experts was part of the News Hub team. As "data guy", he was responsible for measuring and evaluating the Hub experiments.


For six months, the News Hub team rotated between the different editoiral teams of VRT News (, Terzake, De Afspraak, Radio 1…), providing support in the field of social media. We though about how we could improve the formats and channels that were used to distribute content.


We worked in sprints of 3 weeks. At the beginning of each sprint, hypotheses were formulated and our analytics expert determined the accompanying KPI’s. When would we consider the test successful?

After each sprint, our analytics expert made an extended analysis and compiled the insights in a report. This report was used to communicate the learnings and the best practices. Both to the staff of the specific editorial team, as to the VRT News management.



Social Media

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Higher reach on FB

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Accelerated fan growth

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More people activated on FB


Times more video views


The insights and best practices were used to write tutorials and develop handy tools (image generators, video effects, etc). These tools and tutorials were published on an internal website, so that they are avaiable for the entire VRT News staff. This creates uniformity within the VRT News and a better digital experience for their audiences.


The News Hub experiment was perceived as extremely valuable to the editorial teams. Therefore, it led to the creation of a dedicated social media team within VRT News. This team consists of social editors, a digital strategist, a creative developer and an analytics expert. Thus, the data-driven approach of the News Hub will continue in the future.

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