Tech company Linius Technologies (ASX: LNU) intends to broaden its horizons courtesy of a commercial deal with video news service Newstag.
The deal will see Newstag deploy Linius’ proprietary search solution as part of a mission plan to deliver “hyper-personalized news experiences” with a social impact.
The news follows on from a separate deal with Oklahoma State University announced earlier this year that will test Linius’ cognitive search technology in a proof of concept study. The public-private partnership also plans to include artificial intelligence company IBM Watson to migrate the university’s 10,000-hour video library into virtual data.
Newstag is an award-winning news platform that aggregates content for more than 20 broadcasters and agencies around the world, including leading news broadcasters such as AP, AFP, CNN and Bloomberg.
According to Nielsen’s ‘Total Audience Report’ in 2016, news consumption is undergoing strong rates of growth and evolving on a consistent basis to include additional forms of content such as video and dedicated mobile content.
In the US alone, adults watch more than 27 billion minutes of national cable television news programming per week, on average.
Cable television remains a strong source of news content for consumers but online vendors are rapidly catching up with the appearance of so-called “cord-cutters” becoming more commonplace.
Cord cutters are people that have chosen to disconnect from traditional TV programmes and content broadcast via national television, in favour of online-only content including news, sports and entertainment.
Services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Stan have underlined just how popular on-demand content is, especially among the computer-savvy younger generations. There are also indications that consumers are happy to pay for dedicated news content from specific news organisations and newspapers which further erodes the reach of television in media.
According to market statistics, news consumption across all media, including radio, traditional broadcast TV and smartphones rose by 18% last year to 73.5 billion minutes per week, compared to the previous year.
According to Deloitte Global, at least 50% of adults in developed countries will have at least two online-only media subscriptions by the end of this year, with this figure expected to double by the end of 2020.
Linius and Newstag join forces
To kick-off their relationship, Newstag will deploy the Linius Search Solution across the Newstag site, allowing users to search news archives and generate their own personalized news experience. C
ustomised news and user-driven content is expected to drive user growth and could put Newstag into a unique market position that scoops growing amounts of internet traffic from news-hungry consumers.
Once deployed, Linius and Newstag will work together to sell the capability to the thousands of news broadcasters and news content providers around the world.
The technology being provided by Linius will also be deployed to organise Newstag workflows providing both improved efficiency and enhanced personalisation to news feeds currently being provided to broadcasters globally.
Linius said it will receive monthly license fees, in addition to US$1 per video virtualised and US$40 per thousand videos assembled, although for the time being, Linius has confirmed it will charge a discounted rate of US$10 per thousand until a future commercial deal is signed.
“Linius is in the commercialisation phase of our business and is targeting market leaders in the news, sports, education and corporate communications sectors, with our video hyper-personalisation capability,” said Chris Richardson, CEO of Linius.
“Our strategy has been to seek a leading brand to commercially validate the Linius solution and a channel partner to rapidly scale our business. The agreement with Newtag gives us a strong foothold into the booming news sector,” said Mr Richardson.
As part of its aim to establish a viable “go to market plan”, Linius said it intends to appoint current Newstag chairperson Dr Camilla Dahlin-Andersson to its own advisory board.
“Newstag is excited about working with Linius to rapidly scale our personalised video news content offering helping users to find relevant content more efficiently. Linius’ technology will allow us to gain market share in this rapidly evolving market,” said Dr Dahlin-Andersson.