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It’s been just over a year since Google announced its $300 million News Initiative, which included funding for independent journalism efforts along with products developed by Google.
One of those products was News Consumer Insights, which has been used by publishers like BuzzFeed, Business Insider and Conde Nast. It takes data already collected through Google Analytics and makes it more useful for publishers, particularly when it comes to understanding different audience segments and whether they’re likely to become paying subscribers.
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“It’s turning raw data into business intelligence and actionable insights,” said Amy Adams Harding, Google’s head of analytics and revenue optimization and head of publisher development.
Now Google is building on the NCI product with a new tool called Real-time Content Insights.
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As the name implies, RCI is focused on telling publishers what’s happening on their site at this moment, and on helping them identify trending news stories that could attract more readers. The initial NCI data is more useful for the publisher’s business or audience development teams, Harding said RCI is designed “to help the editorial side of our partners understand the dynamics of content on their site — what’s trending, what’s falling off, what’s getting traction.”
Google is hardly the first company to offer real-time data to news publishers, but Harding said this “off-the-shelf, click-to-play” product could be particularly useful for smaller newsrooms that don’t have a lot of resources and aren’t particularly data-savvy.
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“Local is a huge pillar of the Google News Initiative,” Harding said. “What can we do to help develop tools where we can be support mechanisms for our partners as...
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