July 28, 2011
I am a big fan of Chartbeat, the real-time analytics platform, as it offers an up-to-the-second look at who is visiting a specific site, what pages are being looked at and where traffic is coming from. It also offers an iPhone application for a quick snapshot on-the-go. It can be addictive as you watch the activity on the site in real-time. Tech Cocktail has been using Chartbeat for quite a while.
Today, Chartbeat has rolled out a new product that is specifically geared for news organizations, called Newsbeat. Newsbeat offers users a command center for keeping track of real-time analytics exclusively for publishers. According to the site, the new service gives publishers detailed information on every single page of their site in a way they would “intuitively understand” and uses algorithms to analyze every page in real-time and predict expected traffic paths. This could be helpful for optimizing content and site design, giving publishers a better understanding of how content is being consumed, where it is being consumed, user-paths, etc.
One of the key features of Newsbeat is the ability to create personalized dashboards for every person on a news team. For example, the politics editor can just watch the data important to them and then immediately see traffic, referrers and more on each story in the politics section. This is different than Chartbeat which currently does not offer a dashboard specifically tailored to any one area but instead gives a more comprehensive look at the overall site. Newsbeat looks to help publishers grow traffic, increase engagement and understand its audience. Ultimately, Newsbeat’s real-time data could be used to guide the newsroom to create more hits than misses with the content created.
Priced starting at $199 per month for a blog to $899 per month for a large newsroom, Newsbeat is setup to be a cash cow for Chartbeat. That is, if they can get the bigger publishers to pay for it. I remain doubtful that a lot of blogs and new media publishers with smaller teams will want to pay an additional $199 per month for the service when they could get by with Chartbeat at just $9.99 a month. But I guess the secret is in the new promise of Newsbeat as it may be able to predict when certain pieces of content will go viral, when an item is cooling off and when to cover certain topics. If those features are all as solid as Newsbeat claims they are, then I could see it being worth the investment. This is where their free trial will be critical – people will either see the value immediately or they won’t bother.
Newsbeat is the first of a few niche analytic products that Chartbeat has been working on. The next product, called Shopbeat, will be for e-commerce sites and a gaming focused site to follow.
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