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NBC News, Associated Press seek SmartNews for aggregated mobile content

Publishers such as NBC News, Associated Press, Los Angeles Times and the Huffington Post have teamed with mobile application SmartNews to give consumers a more personalized news experience.

SmartNews, initially offered in Japan, has gained five million users since its launch in 2012. Now offered in the United States, SmartNews offers consumers with features for personalization while publishers reap the financial benefits.

?Our business model is extraordinarily publisher-friendly,? said Rich Jaroslovsky, vice president for content at SmartNews, San Francisco. ?The first click on a headline always goes to the publisher?s Web site, so it?s a pure traffic driver, and publishers who partner with us can place advertising on the second click, SmartView version, from which we aren?t taking a cut. 

?It?s their content, their ad, their revenues.?

Staying up-to-date
SmartNews, available for free on iOS and Android devices, promises to bring speed, utility and serendipity to finding news for users by using proprietary algorithms and real-time analysis of millions of Web pages to identify top stories.

SmartNews identifies top stories based on the number of people reading them. 


Rather than maintaining an endless stream of news, SmartNews only shows the current top stories. Users can rank the stories they read and display news in colorful tabs based on topic. Using the Channel Plus tool, users can customize the app with these tabs that feature content specifically from their favorite sources.

The app can be accessed without an Internet connection through the SmartView feature, which displays content formatted specifically for mobile devices.

Three quarters of those who have downloaded the app use it every month, and more than 30 percent use it every day.

The U.S. publishers that SmartNews is working with are NBC News, the Associated Press, the Huffington Post, the Los Angeles Times, CNET, the Verge, Quartz, SB Nation, Re/Code, Mashable, The Atlantic, Vox.com, Bleacher Report, TechCrunch, Engadget, ProPublica and more.

Making its way
The Japanese edition of SmartNews received a Google Play App of the Year and an Apple App Store Best of awards in 2013.

While its core presence is on mobile, SmartNews is still going extra lengths to appeal to U.S. consumers.

?We?re working closely with GREE International, one of our investors, which is lending us their extensive expertise in appealing to mobile audiences, and we?ve also got a great group of publishing partners publicizing their relationships with us through their own channels,? Mr. Jaroslovsky said. ?We also got some love from Apple, which has us listed as one of the Best New Apps in the Featured category in News.?


In addition to publishers receiving direct traffic and 100 percent of their advertising revenue, SmartNews also works with them to build their presence on the app.

?We?re providing partners with real-time analytics on how their content is being accessed on SmartNews, and our Channel Plus feature lets users add their own channels built around content from specific sources, which is a good way for publishers to build direct connections with their users,? Mr. Jaroslovsky said.

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York