Advance Local, one of the largest media groups in the United States operating 10 leading news and information organizations and reaching 55 million people monthly, has quadrupled their subscription goal using Sophi Content Paywall Engine. Faced with advertising pressures exacerbated by the Coronavirus, Advance Local increased subscription conversions 45% using Sophi.io, an AI-powered automation, optimization and prediction platform developed by The Globe and Mail. Their success with Sophi has also earned them a spot as a finalist in the Digiday Media Awards, announced this week. Neil Katz, Chief Customer Officer at Advance Local, said, “We wanted to see how much farther Sophi could take us, so we tested Sophi Content Paywall on one of our largest sites. The results were transformative. We were hoping for a 10% lift in conversion rate and Sophi delivered four times that result. We’re continuing to roll out Sophi solutions across more of our sites as we speak.” Advance started using Sophi Content Paywall Engine on one of their largest sites, cleveland.com, to get better insights into the value of their content and fuel their new subscription business. The technology uses advanced natural language processing (NLP) to analyze every piece of content and select which articles to put behind a paywall. It picks only those articles where the subscription revenue opportunity outweighs the advertising revenue forgone. During an experiment where Advance could see how Sophi performed side by side with their existing paywall, Sophi presented roughly the same amount of paywalls and generated a 45% lift in the total conversion rate, while also uncovering pockets of content that editors didn’t anticipate would generate subscriptions. John Hassell, Senior Vice President and Editorial Director at Advance Local, said “We wanted to see if Sophi’s content paywall could increase subscriber acquisition by 10% and it blew that goal out of the water. We’re feeling good about the platform and the way it is showing us just how valuable our editorial content is to our audience.” Advance Local is also a finalist in the Digiday Media Awards, in the category of Best Subscription or Membership Product, for their work using Sophi Content Paywall Engine. “Advance Local is an incredibly innovative organization that we’ve watched push the boundaries and we’re very excited to be working with them,” said Mike O’Neill, Co-Founder and CEO of Sophi.io. “We’re seeing great value come from the content paywall they’ve implemented and we’re excited to introduce some other cutting edge technology into this very strong brand.”
Advance Local was nominated as a finalist in the 2022 Digiday Media Awards’ Best Subscription or Membership Product category due to their success with Sophi Content Paywall Engine. Advance Local is one of the largest media groups in the United States. They operate 10 leading news and information organizations and reach 55 million people monthly across multiple platforms with their high-quality journalism. They are dedicated to unrivaled local journalism that improves the lives of millions of people. With a passion for innovation, Advance Local wanted to see how far they could go by introducing artificial intelligence into their newsroom. They started using Sophi Content Paywall Engine on one of their largest sites, cleveland.com. The technology uses advanced natural language processing to analyze every piece of content and select which articles to put behind a paywall. It picks only those articles where the subscription revenue opportunity outweighs the advertising revenue forgone. An experiment was setup so Advance could see how Sophi performed side by side with their existing paywall, and the results confirmed they’d made the right decision. Sophi generated a more than 40% increase in subscribers, and uncovered pockets of content that their editors didn’t anticipate would generate subscriptions. “We wanted to see how much farther Sophi could take us, so we tested Sophi Content Paywall on one of our largest sites. The results were transformative. We were hoping for a 10% lift in conversion rate and Sophi delivered four times that result. We’re continuing to roll out Sophi solutions across more of our sites as we speak.” - Neil Katz, Chief Customer Officer, Advance Local. See the complete list of Digiday finalists here.
Toronto, ON, May 10, 2022 – Sophi.io, an AI-powered automation, optimization and prediction platform developed by The Globe and Mail, is now working with Reuters - the news and media division of Thomson Reuters - as it continues to invest in the latest AI solutions for its newsroom. Sophi is helping to automate content curation on select sections on Reuters.com, which was relaunched in April 2021. Sophi Site Automation is an AI system that autonomously curates digital content to find and promote an organization’s most engaging content. Sophi looks at all content as it’s published, and all traffic, to find the hidden gems that an organization’s customers value the most. In order to automate content curation, Sophi’s algorithm has been learning from Reuters editors. The newsroom has been able to work with some of the latest AI solutions, which has resulted in giving time back to editors to focus on finding the next story and creating the journalism that makes Reuters such a trusted brand. Josh London, Head of Reuters Professional and Chief Marketing Officer of Reuters, said: “Sophi’s cutting-edge AI platform is one of the next steps in the evolution of our digital properties. Sophi will help us further our mission of bringing AI-based technology and tools to more corners of the workforce, whilst helping to bring our readers the stories they both want and need to know”. Michael Young, Chief Technology Officer for Reuters, said: “Our partnership with Sophi.io is another example of how a newsroom like ours can successfully deploy some of the latest AI solutions for effective content discovery. Our team worked closely with the Sophi team to ensure our Sophi Score reflected our business goals and we are pleased with the resulting site automation.” Mike O’Neill, Co-Founder and CEO of Sophi.io, added “We are delighted to have Reuters as a customer. They put their trust in Sophi and we are excited to automate curation across all of their article pages to start and expand the relationship to include more solutions down the road.” “It’s wonderful to work with Reuters in this capacity,” said Phillip Crawley, Publisher and CEO of The Globe and Mail. “They have a strong mission and Sophi.io is helping them continue to demonstrate how editorial integrity can be supported by AI.” About Reuters Reuters is the world’s leading provider of trusted news, insight and analysis, reaching billions of people worldwide every day. Founded in 1851, it brings together world-class journalism, industry expertise and cutting-edge technology with unparalleled speed, reliability and accuracy to enable people to make better decisions. Reuters is committed to the Trust Principles of independence, integrity and freedom from bias, and is the essential source of business, financial and world news delivered to financial professionals exclusively via Refinitiv services, and to the world’s media organizations, industry events and directly to consumers. About Sophi.io Sophi.io 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, Sophi for Paywalls and Sophi for First Party Data. 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.
The Future Today Institute’s 2022 Tech Trends Report outlines the tech trends influencing the future of journalism, media, and the business models supporting entertainment and news. In their latest report, FTI highlights Sophi as an example of startups successfully layering AI into their newsrooms: “A growing number of startups are providing AI solutions to newsrooms. Sophi offers a bundle that automates homepage production and makes user-level decisions about when to serve a paywall. The Globe and Mail, which created Sophi as an internal tool and spun it out as a stand-alone B2B product, has automated 99% of site curation, trusting the algorithm to do the work as well (or better) as editors.” Read the full report here.
Interested in learning more about how Stibo DX is bringing Sophi automation and AI to their global newsrooms on CUE? Here’s a sneak peek: “Since the beginning of 2021, Sophi.io and Stibo DX have worked together closely, paving the way for next-level AI in CUE newsrooms. The goal is to automate and optimize as many user journeys as possible while improving the quality of workflows, editorial production, and ultimately revenue. Proofreading, fact-checking, and story enrichment by suggesting relevant assets are some of the many AI-driven technologies already available on the market. But the newest aspect of AI is services that optimize the promotion and distribution of content to generate the most revenue. Studies have made clear that even when human judgement is data-based, AI-driven publishing is far faster, cheaper, and more precise.” Read the full article here.
Sophi.io, a suite of artificial intelligence (AI)-powered solutions that help content publishers identify and leverage the value of their content, has joined PILOT, an initiative of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) bringing together a coalition of innovators, educators and advocates dedicated to advancing broadcast technologies and cultivating new media opportunities. PILOT comprises broadcasting and technology stakeholders, such as new media broadcast operators, measurement and attribution companies, advertising partners and technology providers. Among other goals, PILOT’s working groups and committees strive to drive the creation and implementation of new technologies and solutions for the media industry. Sophi.io is an artificial intelligence (AI) platform tailored to optimizing revenue and engagement for media companies. Through its powerful prediction algorithms, Sophi Automation serves the right content to the right audience at the right time across text and video. Sophi’s core product suite offers automated content curation, personalization and dynamic registration that facilitate first party data acquisition, viewer engagement and monetization of video and text content across multiple channels including web, app, OTT and streaming. “It’s great to have Sophi.io join PILOT given their experience developing and implementing strategies for digital revenue around first-party data,” said NAB PILOT Executive Director John Clark. “We look forward to working with Sophi.io to drive those opportunities forward in the industry.” “We’re looking forward to working more closely with PILOT and its members and collaborating on some new ways to help the industry address the challenges of first party data activation, automated curation and revenue optimization,” said Gordon Edall, Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer of Sophi.io. PILOT members help define key areas for development of innovative technologies and services for media companies. As associate members of NAB, PILOT members will also participate in NAB technology program development, conventions and networking events.