SmartNews is a rapidly growing news aggregator rivaling Google News and Apple News in usage. As such it can be an important part of an overall content distribution strategy for publishers.
But publishers need to go in with their eyes wide open before agreeing to work with SmartNews.
In this High Value Publishing session, Eric Shanfelt shows publishers how SmartNews pitches themselves to publishers, but how publisher content is used primarily to benefit SmartNews itself.
You’ll see how their “SmartFormat” prioritizes SmartNews revenue while giving publishers non-favorable positions for their own monetization and promotion. In addition, The SmartFormat specification and WordPress plugin use Google Analytics in a way that can be misleading. It can look like SmartNews is driving a lot of traffic to a publisher when, in reality, it’s using the publisher’s Google Analytics account to track content views inside the SmartNews app, not real traffic to the publisher’s website.
Finally, you’ll learn how SmartNews has now launched its own advertising network directly selling to advertisers, thus becoming another competitor for media companies and publishers.
Publishers, especially independent and niche publishers, need to be fully aware of these issues when deciding whether to work with SmartNews. SmartNews is indeed one of the fastest growing news aggregators in the market, but may not be the best fit for all publishers.