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Tech Watch

New and noteworthy media tech at the 2020 Mega Conference

Top four companies to watch

Alisa Cromer

Every year we attend the Mega Conference and highlight new media technology we think is worth a look. 

This year’s featured four noteworthy newcomers: 

While consumer revenue was on everyone’s minds one of our top picks from the Mega was Alert.me that uses AI to drive reader engagement. The company places a single line of code on the media news site, and then a reader can register with email or cell phone to “follow” specific stories. 

Not so surprising: Local stories do really well. A story on school news, for example, got more than twice as many follows as a story on Trump and had 44% from the emails (not the opens, the full list of subscribers), building engagement funnels to identify likely subscriber prospects. The average CTR is 36%, according to Adam Shapiro, CEO. 

There are two tiers of pricing, one where media owns the data, and one shared data model. 

The largest number of new tech companies pitching media on the show floor this year ware in the video space, which now owns ¾ of the advertising revenue and accounts for 25% of the increase in advertising this year. 

Later Pay, another newcomer, offers a twist on the subscription model: Subscribers buy with a “promise to pay” later, adding convenience and instant gratification to the buy. 90% of these promises to pay later result in fulfilled orders, said Wright Bryan, Business Development and Partner manager. 

AIR.TV, new to the conference, offers one of the more promising options. By installing a single code of Java, local media can obtain free analytics on all their video views, plus earn a revenue share of at least $2 per view. “You earn $2 every time you post a video. It can grow very fast,” CEO Luke Leonard told us. 

How do they do it? The 3-year-old company has developed a content network of local broadcast stations and YouTube content producers, the latter of which he lures with a higher revenue share, 50%, of advertising. The media companies get another 25%, and Air.tv takes the rest. Their staff of 12 includes two full-time people placing premium ad networks.   

The platform is worth it for the free data analytics on your site’s news videos most media don’t know.

Vision Intelligence pitched a slightly different model. Their software actually ingests video content, matches available video from their network to local media articles, and auto-uploads it, freeing up editors from the burden of looking for related video content. The business model is a 70% revenue share, according to U.S. VP Sal Ciacciato. The company’s employees both direct sales and programmatic buyers. Media take 70% of the revenue. Cacciato showed an impressive case study from Die Presse, a European newspaper, that increased pre-rolls from 30,000 to 31 million using the platform. 


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