Mather Economics (Mather), a global leader in strategic advisory for subscriber yield management, digital product pricing, and content analytics, has acquired Sophi Inc. (Sophi), who provides AI-powered automation and optimization technology for the modern newsroom. This strategic acquisition accelerates the scale and speed at which Mather and Sophi can meet the needs of its global customers. Mather is a subsidiary of Mediahuis. Sophi was a subsidiary of The Globe and Mail. Mather’s mission is to enable publisher sustainability and profitability in an industry that requires change to survive and succeed. With this acquisition, the breadth of Mather’s capabilities (advisory, managed services, and technology) combines with the depth of Sophi’s products (automation software) to provide a full suite of products to help our collective customers meet their urgent business transformation challenges. Sophi’s technology was developed by The Globe and Mail to help newsrooms optimize their most important strategic and tactical content decisions. The Sophi platform provides a suite of artificial intelligence and machine learning-powered automation, optimization and prediction tools built to enable subscriber growth, paywall optimization, and digital content curation and automation. “The strategic acquisition of Sophi enables Mather to deliver a comprehensive range of services, including advising publishers on execution of their digital transformation strategies, and providing the tools and capabilities that are vital for those digital business models. This integration allows us to serve the needs of publishers, offering a complete suite of AI-powered solutions designed to optimize their operations and drive revenue growth,” said Matt Lindsay, President of Mather. “In addition to our existing offices in the United States and Europe/UK, we are thrilled to establish a strong presence in Canada. This acquisition amplifies our global footprint and signifies our commitment to expanded capabilities with best-in-class AI tools that complement our existing services.” Mike O’Neill, CEO of Sophi, added, “We’re excited about the opportunity that joining Mather creates. It will enable us to accelerate the impact we can create for our customers, given Mather and Sophi’s very complementary strengths. Sophi has developed world-class AI capabilities, and Mather’s strength in advisory and consulting services will make it easier for our customers to get the most impact out of our tools. Mather’s large install base on its ListenerTM platform allows us to deploy Sophi services to existing customers even more quickly.” Read more about the advantages of Mather & Sophi combined products and services.
About Mather Economics Mather Economics is a global leader in analytics-led business transformation, focused on subscriber yield management, digital product pricing, and content analytics. With a mission to enable publisher and media company sustainability and profitability, Mather’s proprietary predictive analytics, strategic advisory services and managed services enable 600+ customers globally, who, in turn, serve over 30 million households and manage over $6 billion in revenue. Founded in 2002, Mather is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, and with offices in Antwerp, Belgium, and now Toronto, Canada. Mather is a part of Mediahuis, an international media group with over 30 newsroom brands and 1.7 million subscribers.
About Sophi Inc. Sophi Inc. is an AI-powered automation, optimization and prediction platform that enables publishers and media companies worldwide to drive business transformation and subscriber optimization through its suite of automation and paywall analytics solutions. Originally developed by The Globe and Mail, Sophi’s award-winning platform empowers almost 100 newsrooms globally to make strategic, well-informed decisions encompassing pricing, content optimization, and subscriber growth. For Mather Economics or Sophi media inquiries, please contact: Matt Lindsay President, Mather firstname.lastname@example.org
About The Globe and Mail The Globe and Mail is Canada’s foremost news media company, leading the national discussion and causing policy change through brave and independent journalism since 1844. With its award-winning coverage of business, politics and national affairs, The Globe and Mail newspaper reaches 6.2 million readers every week in our print or digital formats, and Report on Business magazine reaches 2.7 million readers in print and digital every issue. The Globe’s investment in innovative data science means that as the world continues to change, so does The Globe. The Globe and Mail is owned by Woodbridge, the investment arm of the Thomson family. For The Globe and Mail media inquiries, please contact: Lindsey Lowy Sr. Director of Marketing email@example.com
Sophi’s AI technology is being integrated by alfa Media, extending beyond their editorial platform, to publishers in the German-speaking market. Thanks to machine learning technology, print automation is now available to all publishers, regardless of their existing editorial system. alfa Media sees itself as a partner in success to its customers, opening up a new world of opportunity. We value innovative, multimedia, and intuitive concepts that are optimally adapted to the respective publication channel - be it digital, print, web or app. To enable clients and others in the publishing industry to seamlessly automate layout for print production, alfa Media has now partnered with Sophi, an AI-powered automation, optimisation, and prediction platform developed by The Globe and Mail. Sophi’s solution shortens the entire print page design process from hours to just minutes, without the use of templates. Publishers can dramatically increase productivity as well as reduce costs - all within their existing content platform. Time and resources saved can now be reallocated to higher value work such as content creation. “We are delighted to enter into this partnership with Sophi and to have the opportunity to automate print production and thus further increase the efficiency of our customers,” says Michael Marcks, CEO of alfa Media. “Sophi’s AI-based technology will drastically reduce manual work processes and allow editors to focus on their core tasks again.” “We can integrate Sophi seemlessly into our products but are also able to offer perfect integration to users of other editorial platforms at the same time,” says Michael Marcks. “Traditionally, the challenge of automating the simplification of print page layouts has been in stark contrast to the rapid publishing process of online formats. However, with Sophi’s AI engine, it is now possible to begin training the pagination model on existing layouts directly and achieve initial results in a matter of days.” Oliver Andrich, CTO of alfa Media, agrees. For daily publications, time is of the essence when it comes to page design. Sophi’s print automation is particularly advantageous in such cases, as it saves an enormous amount of time. The paginating of print output can be completed within a few minutes, as opposed to several hours with a manual process. Consequently, publishers can reduce costs in this area and redirect the savings to other profitable investments. Sophi’s print automation sets itself apart from other print production solutions in that the product is content-driven, eliminating the need for templates altogether. It employs proven AI technology to guarantee that a publisher’s printed pages have the look and feel of pages crafted by skilled editors and designers. Every page is created from scratch, adhering to the brand’s design guidelines. The final outcome is a print-ready PDF or InDesign file that can complete an entire newspaper within 10 minutes or less. Among the beneficiaries of the new technology are the page designers themselves. With this automation engine, they will be able to delegate routine tasks to the technology, freeing up their time to focus on more creative aspects of their work, such as designing front pages, features, and special layouts that add real value. This will significantly reduce their workload and help alleviate the stress of having to constantly race against time to meet deadlines. “We are delighted to welcome alfa Media into our partnership portfolio. We believe that our integration will help to fuel efficiency for their many customers in the German market. Our partnership supports our ongoing mission of helping newsrooms to thrive, by delivering a solution that will free up valued resources, so they can devote their time to producing more great journalism”, says Michael O’Neill, CEO of Sophi. Alis Simpson Director Marketing & Communications Phone +49 (0) 6074-3104-123 / Mobile +49 (0) 177-9144-292 Ariel Burkett Director, Global Sales and Partnerships Phone: +1-416-859-8079
Today McClatchy, one of the largest media companies in the United States with over 95 million unique visitors, announced its partnership with Sophi, in accelerating subscription growth across McClatchy’s network of 30 local news sites and affiliated brands. McClatchy believes in the importance of local journalism and its ability to foster community engagement and bring about social justice. As an innovative company that is continuing to invest in delivering high-quality local journalism to every community it serves, McClatchy is putting its trust in Sophi’s AI-powered paywall solutions to help propel its business forward. Sophi’s two AI-powered paywall engines (its Content Paywall, which uses natural language processing to determine which content should be placed behind a paywall, and its Dynamic Paywall, which analyzes both content and user behavior) will play an instrumental role in driving results for this award-winning local news leader. Mike O’Neill, CEO at Sophi says “Helping journalism thrive through the application of leading edge AI is what makes us tick at Sophi, and we’re very excited to bring these capabilities to bear for such an innovative and impactful publisher as McClatchy.” Will Hauck, Senior VP Consumer Revenue & Strategy at McClatchy added “We are excited to partner with Sophi to transform our approach on user experience and sustainable growth across our digital properties. We look forward to working closely with Sophi to drive value for our readers and partners, and to advance our mission of informing and inspiring our communities.” About McClatchy McClatchy features a powerhouse of vibrant news brands that have earned awards and national recognition, including the Miami Herald, The Kansas City Star and The Sacramento Bee. The McClatchy digital platform hosts over 30 news sites and a robust digital content offering from syndication partners. Our platform is a catalyst for informed engagement, greater understanding, and deeper community connections. Through state of-the-art technology, we reach more than 95 million unique visitors per month by providing essential news and information to the communities we serve. We’re in the midst of a digital transformation, leveraging our platform to deliver mission-based journalism, independent reporting and innovative customer solutions in order to serve our audience at the highest level. Connect with us on social media @mcclatchy or at mcclatchy.com. About Sophi Sophi was developed by The Globe and Mail to help content publishers make important strategic and tactical decisions. It is a suite of AI and ML-powered automation, optimization and prediction solutions that include Sophi Site Automation and Sophi for Paywalls. Sophi also powers one-click automated laydown of template-free print publishing. Sophi is designed to improve the metrics that matter most to your business, such as subscriber retention and acquisition, engagement, recency, frequency and volume. Learn more at sophi.io. For more information please contact: Ariel Burkett Director, Global Sales & Partnerships firstname.lastname@example.org
The West Australian, a 190-year-old newspaper, is the flagship daily masthead of Seven West Media group. Across print and digital, The West reaches an audience of 4.3 million every month, the highest state reach of any metro masthead. It is a one-stop shop for all news in Western Australia. The West had some success in paywalling content, but the decisions were often their editors’ best guesses about which articles would drive subscriptions and which would generate page views. This meant opportunities were missed, leaving money on the table. “I could see that with all we were doing with digital transformation, we were pushing people to their limits – so many new tools, so many platforms to think about, so many hours of the day to cover,” said Bethany Chismark, Editorial Systems Manager. “I just wanted subscription conversion to be one less thing a producer or editor had to think about, to take a little bit of pressure off staff.” The West implemented Sophi’s content paywall in November, 2021. Sophi ran natural language processing on every article as it was published, predict whether it would generate more ad revenue or subscription revenue, and accordingly recommend to editors which articles should be locked or unlocked. By August, 2022, editors handed the reins over to Sophi for paywall decision-making, since it was evident that the AI was making powerful decisions that improved conversion without diluting their news brand. “Newsrooms have this myth, this idea that we know better than algorithms,” said Editor-in-Chief Anthony De Ceglie. “The truth is, Sophi is a beautiful tool and another lever that we can pull to get the best results for our audience.” With Sophi, The West saw a dramatic increase in the number of subscriber acquisitions. David Johns, online editor at The West, cited one example: “Of the near 3,900 stories Sophi suggested we lock, we locked around 2,500 of them, and we got 40 subs from those stories – in just 10 days. “Of the 1,800 stories Sophi suggested we unlock, we chose to keep almost 800 of them locked. Of those stories, only one of them sold a sub.” The team also noticed an uptick in subscriptions on wire content, stories that editors would never consider paywalling. “What Sophi did was to take the guesswork out of some of the stories that we locked or unlocked,” said Johns. This paved the way for fully algorithmic decision-making, said Chismark. “It’s not to say that staff didn’t get it right some of the time over Sophi. But it showed us that we could leave it up to AI, more than we had originally thought,” she said. “Once we flicked the switch to fully automated, we saw a continuation of the strong results that we had in the early stages of operation.” The newsroom had been concerned about job losses due to automation, said De Ceglie. “But the flip side of that is that it frees up capacity. And newsrooms have never been busier.” Subscriptions rose dramatically as Sophi found hidden pockets of value, allowing busy editors to focus on journalism, The West’s Bethany Chismark explains.
Subscriptions rose dramatically as Sophi found hidden pockets of value, allowing busy editors to focus on journalism, The West’s Bethany Chismark explains.
Sophi’s Sonali Verma was interviewed by IAB Canada about how Sophi’s game changing technology is curating digital content and getting the right message in front of the right person. Here’s a preview of the article: “IABC: Looking forward, how might Sophi evolve in the coming years? What kind of role will it play when it comes to the new forms of addressing audiences? Sonali Verma: Sophi’s mandate is to solve the worst problems in the publishing business including the two most popular: We have discovered that the decision-making engine...” Read the full interview here.