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“40% of our page-view growth this year”: Reach launches AI audience engagement tool to wider market

Following in the footsteps of Canada’s Globe & Mail who launched their in-house Sophi AI optimization and prediction engine to strong acclaim a few years ago, Reach plc, one of Britain’s biggest newspaper groups, is now offering its AI-powered audience engagement tool to fellow publishers.

Called ‘Neptune Recommender’, the AI tool analyzes a website visitor’s interests and serves up relevant content using machine learning and data points such as category, concept, comment engagement, and sentiment, rather than merely keywords alone. Content suggestions based on positive sentiment are subsequently served up using an on-page widget and are updated each time a user visits a page to keep content current.

When a user browses an article on how to minimize food bills, for example, the tool recognizes the category of the article (cost of living) and also the concept of the article (budgeting specifically around food bills). The widget then displays relevant content that resonates with detail, such as features on how to feed a family for £5, or food hacks and recipes, with a far more closely aligned sentiment than generic content. 

A spokeswoman from Reach told WNIP that the tool had played a pivotal role in increasing page-view growth across the Group’s entire portfolio of 130 media brands, although she declined to give exact numbers.

We can’t share page view figures but it equates to 40% of our page-view growth this year.

It is now being made commercially available to other publishers – “of all sizes” and “across all geographic territories” according to Reach – and has the capability to be customized and adapted to advertising. Interested publishers are invited to contact Reach plc’s Mantis division.

Whether it’s the best sets from Glastonbury of all time, regional traffic news in your area, or hacks to keep your carbon footprint low, we need to recognise and treat our users as individuals, and we’ve focused on the technology and data strategy that can step up to the plate to do just that.

Terry Hornsby, Reach Group Digital and Innovation Director

The technology can be viewed below.