Collectif Top Stories
2 mins read

SmartNews: What publishers need to know

SmartNews is the local news app downloaded by 50+ million readers across 150 countries worldwide. It analyses and curates news, stories and events from 200+ local news publishers, as well as covering breaking news from leading media groups. Eric Shanfelt of Nearview Media, a member of Mx3’s Collectif, tells us what we need to know and why it might not be the best fit for all publishers.

SmartNews is a rapidly growing news aggregator rivaling Google News and Apple News in usage. As such it can be an important part of an overall content distribution strategy for publishers.

But publishers need to go in with their eyes wide open before agreeing to work with SmartNews.

In this High Value Publishing session below, Eric Shanfelt shows publishers how SmartNews pitches themselves to publishers, but how publisher content is used primarily to benefit SmartNews itself.

You’ll see how their “SmartFormat” prioritizes SmartNews revenue while giving publishers non-favorable positions for their own monetization and promotion. In addition, The SmartFormat specification and WordPress plugin use Google Analytics in a way that can be misleading. It can look like SmartNews is driving a lot of traffic to a publisher when, in reality, it’s using the publisher’s Google Analytics account to track content views inside the SmartNews app, not real traffic to the publisher’s website.

Finally, you’ll learn how SmartNews has now launched its own advertising network directly selling to advertisers, thus becoming another competitor for media companies and publishers.

Publishers, especially independent and niche publishers, need to be fully aware of these issues when deciding whether to work with SmartNews. SmartNews is indeed one of the fastest growing news aggregators in the market, but may not be the best fit for all publishers.

Links mentioned in this session

Eric Shanfelt is a media industry veteran, author, speaker, and consultant. He helps media companies of all types grow their digital revenues and audience, and improve their technology. For the past 30 years, he has worked with hundreds of B2B and consumer publishers, served as the Senior VP of Digital for public, private equity and privately held media companies, and launched several multi-million-dollar digital media businesses built on advertising, data, ecommerce, and subscription revenue. With a unique combination of vision, execution, and technical expertise, Eric works with all levels of an organization to get quick results.