New Publishing Tech

Q&A: PublishCheck’s ‘article -first’ analytics platform

Founded in 2016, PublishCheck is an analytics platform that works with News UK (Times of London, The Sun), Condé Nast (Vogue) and a number of other leading publishers with the primary mission of helping them make more money online. Originally a spin-off from Deep Crawl, an SEO platform, PublishCheck is privately owned and headquartered in London. WNIP caught up with PublishCheck’s MD Chris Boud at the company’s Adam Street offices to find out more.

What business problem is your company addressing?

The publishing industry still has issues embedding successful business models, and at the beginning of that problem is ‘data = knowledge & awareness’. Our analytics platform is designed to offer transparency around article performance for commercial and editorial teams, so they can make data-driven decisions rather than guessing – when should I publish, where are my competitors finding success, what are the hot topics, who are my hot content producers etc.

It’s a simple-to-use visual dashboard so publishers can easily see patterns and work out best practice to get maximum ‘bang for buck’. We’re currently building AI driven features that will detail actions to get more views on sponsored content, ad-clicks, or subscribers.

Information is king. Offering publishers visibility around performance metrics is key to understanding what creates success (and failure). Once you have that data you can make smarter decisions. Using clever algorithms we then apply this data to ‘nudge’ our clients into doing the right thing at the right time with their content. Saving both time and making money.

Can you give some examples of publishers successfully using your solution?

As a newsroom toolkit all of our clients have different use cases but all have a central theme around monitoring and managing article performance. A large multinational publishing group uses us to monitor global article output (success and failure) and report centrally with recommendations. Other use cases include monitoring journalist success, competitor tracking, breakout alerts, managing Evergreens, working out why articles fail, etc.

PublishCheck dashboard

Pricing?

We charge a fixed access fee starting at £1000/month and bundle seats with article volume depending on usage. Clients typically pay £1000-5000/month.

What are other people doing in the space and why?

We’re in the odd situation where clients use us with one or more of our competitors. Not one of us covers the full feature list so we’re often sat next to Chartbeat, Parse.ly and others.

All of the interesting products coming into the market are using AI to predict and automate. We’re heading in the same direction and focusing on features that create commercial outcome for our clients.

How do you view the future?

Artificial intelligence is a hackneyed term but love or loathe it, it is playing a lead role in publishing – it’s only just begun really. Imagine a world where you can dictate what kind of reader you want to attract and be able to create and distribute content to do just that. That’s where we’re going with PublishCheck.

The industry is still in flux, with possibly more disruption to come. New business models are starting to get traction and major players are jockeying for their new positions, but the fat margins are no longer there and readers expect everything for free which is untenable. A free press has to be paid for especially investigative and long-form journalism. We will support this cause wholeheartedly.

Anything else we should know?

We would like to hear from other publishing professionals who want to work in a PubTech startup, at any level. We’re hiring.

We also need prospective clients to help guide us as to what to build next. We’d rather develop our platform around real-world problems facing publishers. 

We’re also keen to forge new commercial partnerships. Interested parties should email chris.boud@publishcheck.com 

Thank you.

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