News Aggregation Site “Newser” Gets $2.5 Million Investment, Report

By on 06/18/2009 9:36 PM @beet_tv

Newser, a new news content aggregation site, has raised $2.5 million investment funds, its first, Rafat Ali at paidContent reports tonight. 

Rafat says the investment round involves several individual investors.  Rafat gets the the story with co-founder Patrick Spain.  Spain tells Rafat that the site has 2 million visitors per month and Compete puts the number of monthly uniques at 650,000.  

I interviewed his co founder Michael Wolff last week at Advertising 2.0.  This is my second interview with Michael and is about Newser.  The first interview was about News Corp's MySpace "calamity"

Newser Gets Boost from HuffPo……

Although Newser competes with Huffington Post, it is being used drive traffic the nascent site.  Wolff maintains a high profile on the HuffPo with regular posts.  His posts require readers to "jump" to continue the Newser page to read his complete post.  Here's today's post on President Obama's "Dithering" on Iran.

Andy Plesser, Executive Producer

Disclaimer:  I also blog on the Huffington Post. 

Video Transcript

Michael Wolff: 
Newser is a news aggregator. What we..what we want to do is read your news for you and give it to you in an efficient and entertaining way. The point about news now is you can't be well-informed person just to have read the New York Times. You now have to, have to read across the spectrum of news outlets, and contrary to what the, the negativity in the news business would indicate, there are more and more and more news outlets, really good, really interesting news outlets around the world. We can…we…we focus them, we organize them, we bring it to you so that you can have your news in a quickly and in a way that, that's actually quite a bit of fun.

Andy Plesser:
  So how do you do it differently than, say, the Huffington Post? How how do you…I assume you have human editors or algorithms, or how do you guys do it?

Michael Wolff:
  We use both, both machine search and a staff of editors. And we're different from the Huffington Post in that, first thing, we have no political ax to grind whatsoever, and, and this is the key difference, what we do is we take the news and we summarize it. So everything that we give you is original, is being written by our editors and the goal is to take, to take a news report from somewhere else or video, a video report and synopsize (sic) it, make it quick. You know, the point about about all of this information is that you can't consume it all. You have to consume more but you only have a given amount of time in your day. We can give you more information in less time.

Andy Plesser: 
And then finally, what's the role of video? How do you bring video up–is it sources, are you doing your own video, and how do sort of the value of video to your readers on your aggregated site? Or the broader value of video and news consumption on the web now.

Michael Wolff:
  Well I think video is just another way to get news and information and it has the same problems as written information–it's too long! You need it, you need it quick and you need it to be specific. So, you know, nobody wants to watch a full news hour anymore. Can you imagine?  You just want, you know, you want the byte that you want. And that's what we do; we serve you that.

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