Featured Startup Pitch: Reportory has created a curated news service targeted at consumers making the switch from print to digital
Reportory lets you pick which news sources you read, sections you enjoy and keywords you want to track. Each day you will then receive your customized news, only from those sources, topics, and keywords—no two news digests are alike.
So much news is irrelevant to many, yet still packaged together in a wasteful product that is never fully consumed. As a result of this pain point, in 2013, magazine single-copy sales fell 11 percent according to the Alliance for Audited Media, the worst decline since 2009. Moreover, newspaper circulation has fallen on average six percent every year for the past ten years, according to the Pew Research Center.
As traditional print news readers unsubscribe, there are two less-than-ideal alternatives for them—either they have to manually go to multiple news websites to actively find their news (many of which have paywalls now), or they can try one of the many aggregators out there like Flipboard that offer a more casual browsing mode for readers, but constantly updated, so not truly consumable as a newspaper with a beginning and an end.
Reportory is the ideal news reading experience for former print readers. Readers select which sources they enjoy, news sections they are interested in and keywords they want to track. Each day we deliver customized news digests to their inbox based on those selections—no two digests are alike.
In 2008, I had this idea while working at The Roanoke (Virginia) Times. At a staff meeting, the publisher presented its annual earnings and commented: “People and paper are the two most expensive aspects of running the newspaper.” My immediate thought was to shut down the printing press and transfer the printing burden to those consumers who still desire a printed copy. Instead of spending money supporting an outdated and inefficient one-to-many business model, I believe the news industry should more seriously invest in a customization platform to tailor the news to individual interests.
The financial crisis of ‘08 was not an ideal time to start a company, so instead I went to graduate school where I spent the next three years matriculating in a dual MBA/MSIS program at UNC Chapel Hill. Afterward, I entered the tech industry and eventually started thinking back to the idea and whether or not there was still a market for it. I strongly believe the pain point still exists despite multiple players entering this space (and subsequently consolidating) in the past ten years. Thus, I decided to jump in and eerily now feel as though I have come full circle, excited to see where it takes me!
Once we complete beta, we will focus our initial marketing efforts on a large PR campaign leveraging our expansive media network to secure coverage across a variety of influential blogs and news sites. Simultaneously, we will launch advertising campaigns targeting our prospective customers via Google Search, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Industry market size: 1,380 U.S. newspapers equaling a $38.6 billion newspaper industry and 406 U.S. magazines equaling a $19.82 billion magazine industry equals a $58.42 billion U.S. news market.
Total addressable market: 93.1 million total U.S. newspaper circulation, plus 308 million total U.S. magazine circulation with assumption that readers subscribe to average four newspapers/magazines equals 100.3 million total U.S. news subscribers.
DIFFERENTIATORS VS. THE COMPETITION
There are multiple services trying to customize the news. However, they are:
- Not consumable with continuous real-time updates, such as LinkedIn Pulse, Flipboard, Google News, News360, and News Republic, among others; or
- Not customized, such as Yahoo News Digest, Facebook Paper, theSkimm, Vox, The Daily Beast, Need 2 Know, NOD, and Quartz, among others; or
- Not packaged together in one product since most use RSS feeds to link readers back-and-forth across various sites like Feedspot, Feedly, and Newsify, among others.
Reportory is an evolutionary technology building from initial aggregation platforms that exist today. Existing providers aggregate content and group by topic or publication, but there are no offerings that successfully aggregate news to the next level of detail to customize by topic, publication, and specific keywords a reader may want. Reportory provides a packaged solution for what are alternatively separate offerings (Google Newsstand equals content by topic; Google Alerts equals content by keyword).
Reportory offers a three-tier pricing model:
– Free with ads, maximum ten articles per day
– $4.99/month no ads, maximum 20 articles per day
– $9.99/month no ads, maximum 30 articles per day
Reportory is in live beta until June, 2015, while it improves the algorithm based on usage and completes its mobile apps. Thus, we welcome beta testers to join and provide feedback on their experience! We are focused on adding more publications and personalization features while preparing for a Seed round in Fall, 2015.
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HEADQUARTERS: Winston-Salem, North Carolina
FOUNDER: Tracy Clark
YEAR FOUNDED: 2014