March 13, 2012
Take a closer look at your local news tonight – chances are you’ll see a decent amount of outsourced content from distribution services mixed in with your local news stories.
Where does this content come from? There are a number of paid distribution (or wire services), many of which have been around since the days of Mad Men. Back in the day, if you had a small or non-existent marketing budget, these services were out of reach.
Once again, the Internet is the great equalizer.
SendtoNews is a proactive, media distribution solution that expands access to newsrooms previously too expensive to reach for many small organizations like startups, sports leagues and local governments. The cloud-based service connects content creators, news outlets and established brands in order to expand reach and, in some cases, create new revenue streams for clients.
SendtoNews is a service tailor-made for events. Some of the sports events the company has provided services for include:
- 2011 Pan American Games, Parapan Games Guadalajara, Mexico
- 2011 FENA World Swimming Championships, Shang Hai, China
- 2011 Summer Universiade, Shenzhen, China
- 2011 Bank of the West Classic, San Francisco, California
- 2011 ITU Triathlon World Cup , Beijing, China
- 2011 AHL Calder Cup Playoffs
This might not be the stuff of SportsCenter, but guaranteed there are local sports reporters who would show highlights from the Calder Cup playoffs or footage of the hometown athlete competing in the Pan Am games. And with SendtoNews’ model, sports teams can parlay high exposure in local markets into national sponsorships via video branding that can lead to revenue that is shared with the league or team.
How does it work? Using the SendtoNews platform, clients upload high-quality content that can reach television, web, print and/or radio outlets who have signed up for the service. Newsroom access is vetted by SendtoNews, not only so clients can be sure that their content uploads are being seen by the right organizations, but because for news outlets, the broadcast-quality video is free.
The service is also free for browsers – the casual user who wants to follow news feeds of interest. Content contributors are first approved, then invited to use the paid service model.
The Vancover-based startup plays on the theme of media evolution with its tagline “Distribution Evolved.” (Comedian Conan O’Brien would argue that local newscasts are not evolving due to stations using wire stories verbatim. While this is not a SendtoNews story, you can see what Conan is getting at in this mashup poking fun at local news, where anchors ask, “Could this be the end of e-mail overload?” over, and over, and over….. Baltimore-based startup Shortmail is the beneficiary of the coverage.)
As the conduit however, SendtoNews does indeed fill a need. It’s a win for understaffed newsrooms, and a win for those who have great content but may lack the channels to distribute it.
I signed up for a public account and immediately had access to hundreds of videos along with a narrative. It’s easy to see the appeal for news outlets; the content is tagged, attributed, and fully scripted. See it for yourself with this comprehensive coverage of a recent junior league hockey game:
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