As we prepare for the upcoming INMA European News Media Conference in Budapest, Hungary, we spoke to one of our featured speakers, Patrick van Waeyenberge, co-founder and managing director at Belgium-based Newsmonkey. He discusses how the company will break even in year two.
INMA: What is Newsmonkey?
Van Waeyenberge: Newsmonkey is a new news Web site, launched in January 2014, targeted to 18- to 34-year-olds. Its driven by social media, and the virality of the news.
INMA: Who is Newsmonkey targeting and how big is it?
Van Waeyenberge: Newsmonkey reaches 1,380,000 unique visitors each month and is super selective on the aimed target group — 400,000 of our unique users are between the ages of 18 and 24; 200,000 are between the ages of 25 and 34.
The best answer to this question is the graph below:
INMA: Newsmonkey is about 2 years old and it’s going to break even by the end of this year. What is your business model, where do you find money?
Van Waeyenberge: Newsmonkey is funded by advertising. We are introducing native advertising in Belgium, where we make neutral content for brands that is shared throughout social media.
INMA: What is the future for journalism, and where does the Newsmonkey fit in?
Van Waeyenberge: We are working on an algorithm (with the public broadcaster in Belgium and two universities) to predict the virality of news. Technology and analysis of consumer behaviour will start to become very important in journalism. Technology will partly replace the “gut feeling” of a chief editor.
Apart from this algorithm, we do a lot of research on social media to create newsposts so people are inclined to interact with those posts, which optimises the organic reach on social media.