In mid-summer of 2017, SendtoNews launched Smart Match, a revolutionary tool for publishers that uses Artificial Intelligence to read a publishers article and instantly populate it with the most relevant video in our library. The technology has been adopted by the biggest names in publishing including the L.A. Times, SF Gate, Miami Herald and Baltimore Sun.
One of the earliest adopters,the New York Daily News, recently shared data with SendtoNews, focusing on time periods before and after their site wide implementation of STN Smart Match and the results were fantastic.
The Daily News was able to see increases in article revenue from STN by over 11x. Along with this, they saw sustained year over year increases in sports page views, unique sports viewers and time spent on the sports section.
SendtoNews CEO Matthew Watson is enthusiastic not only about the results, but the ability of this new technology to help publishers thrive in the digital world.
"The New York Daily News has one of the most active and savvy sports audiences in the country," says Watson. "We are thrilled that Smart Match helps them provide official video highlights and content from all of New York's great teams with the world class editorial the Daily News is known for."
Visit our case study page here or read the full abstract below.
By integrating artificial intelligence from SendtoNews into their sports articles, the New York Daily News was able to see a year over year 33% lift in sports page views, 36% lift in sports unique viewers and 44% lift in time spent on sports pages. Along with this, the A.I. feature provided a year over year +11x increase in impressions and article video revenue delivered from SendtoNews.
STN and the NYDN:
When it comes to covering local sports in New York, the Daily News consistently remains a favourite among the Big Apple faithful. With iconic columnists like Frank Isola, Bob Raissman and John Harper providing over half a century of combined coverage alongside a team of dedicated beat writers and journalists, the New York Daily News provides one of the best local perspectives on the home-team in the country. The paper has won 11 Pulitzer prizes and sees more than 42 million visitors to it’s website every month.
The editorial team at NYDN also know the power of video and how it can enhance the user experience. That’s why, for over 5 years, they have relied on SendtoNews to provide official video and highlights of every local sports team to their publication. The videos are a great complement to the written articles as the user now gets to experience the best of the game, while reading their favorite writers perspective.
The New York Daily News had an editorial mandate to use highlights from SendtoNews in as many articles as possible due to not only the quality of video, but substantial revenue they provided.
The workflow would consist of logging into the STN admin, manually searching for the most relevant video, copying the video’s embed code, placing it in the article and publishing.
While this process took less than one minute, there was still room for error.
“If they were in a rush, an editor could forget to put a video in or copy the wrong embed code” says Andy Clayton, Sr. Content Editor, Digital Sports for the New York Daily News. Along with this, there were hundreds of weekly articles auto-published from the AP feed that would never have a video placed in them.
The Solution: Artificial Intelligence
Smart Match is a feature of the SendtoNews video player that uses Artificial Intelligence to scan a publisher’s article and instantly match it with the most relevant video in a library of over 400,000 highlights. Publishers only need to use one embed code for their entire site, making Smart Match the fastest and most intuitive way to get league official video into articles.
In September The New York Daily News automated this embed code across all their content. In November, they included the code in their AP feed, ensuring that there would be relevant, revenue generating video with every published article. “Smart Match has eliminated any errors in placing the video, while reducing the amount of time needed to work on the articles themselves,” says Clayton. “The results have been fantastic.”
Results – Measuring user experience and revenue
STN and the Daily News tracked three measurements on sports page traffic to gauge user experience: sports page views, sports unique viewers and time spent on sports pages. Along with this we tracked article video pre-roll impressions and revenue delivered from SendtoNews to the Daily News. We tracked these results over four separate comparative periods.
Period One: June 2017 - August 2017 vs September 2017 - November 2017. This time frame reflects one quarter before and after STN Smart Match adoption.
Period Two: September - November YoY 2016/2017 comparison. This time frame reflects the three-month period after adoption of STN Smart Match compared to the same period a year prior.
Period Three: November - January YoY 2016/2017 comparison. This time frame reflects a three-month period where the New York Yankees 2017 playoff run would not affect the results
Period Four: February - April 2017/2018 YoY comparison. This time frame reflects a three-month period after the New York Daily News switched to a subscription model compared to a year prior.
The results show an increase in every metric for almost all time periods, establishing STN Smart Match as a valuable tool in providing both a better user experience and driving more revenue.
Looking closer at Period Four before and after the Daily News switched to a subscription model, while there is a drop in page views and unique viewers, time on page sees a 26% lift, demonstrating that maximizing the amount of engaging video from STN across all articles helped keep a decreased audience on their pages for longer.
In that same time frame, we see both article impressions and revenue increase dramatically. STN was able to provide a reliable and increased stream of revenue to the Daily News in this time of transition, easing the potential loss of digital funds due to a temporary user drop off.
Smart Match is the Daily News’ first experience with artificial intelligence and gives publishers a great look at how it can be used as a tool to bolster user experience and increase revenue.
“A lot of journalists are hesitant to adopt A.I.” says Clayton. “But when used correctly as in the case with STN, it really becomes an indispensable tool to help get the best possible product to your readers.”
VP, Corporate Communications
E-mail: david.davies at sendtonews dot com