Case Study: Tweetminster (UK)

The name of the publication and / or company

Tweetminster

Established

2009 December

Web Address

tweetminster.co.uk

Form of the company

Company limited by shares

Describe your site or business in few words.

Alberto Nardelli, CEO: “Tweetminster is a news platform. We curate news and opinion around any topic, industry or market. It’s a media platform that helps people and organizations discover the most relevant content about their personal interest by dynamically analyzing and organizing in real-time what networks and experts of influence around any topic, industry or market are paying attention to. What that means translated is that we analyze what experts on anything are paying attention to. Then we organize that content and those trends in real-time.

We build technologies that identify experts and then analyze that network. We operate as a public service in politics and current affairs and we work with clients around any topic – from Formula 1 to trading in the Middle East.

Originally we launched Tweetminster as a service to help people follow politicians on Twitter. After that we had the idea that Twitter data could be useful in various other ways, too. For example, we could use that data to see if there were correlations with the topics discussed and electoral results, to see what were the big issues.

We have two main kinds of users: 1) Professionals, who need to know what’s important in their area. That could be politics, finance, trading, whatever – we help them understand what is important right now. Not just what’s popular, but what matters. 2) Regular users, for who we will filter the noise of the media and see the trends beyond the initial piece of information.

We serve tens of thousands of people everyday. We work with Reuters, BBC, Channel 4, The Guardian, etc. Our services are integrated within these sites. It depends on our financial deal whether or not Tweetminster is actually visible on the site.

About our business model: Everything we do outside of politics we charge for. We sell a license to use our software. It’s an API, so as the clients make more calls, the price goes up.

We provide monitoring tools, news feeds, analysis, and reports. We don’t charge for politics because we are passionate about the political space and helping people access information, and experimenting within the political space. Lots of the things we’ve done have been with traditional media companies. We believe this will make politics more open – this is a part of our mission.”

Staff numbers

Who’s creating the content

Content creators, paid full-time

4

Content creators, paid freelancers

2

How is your time divided between doing business and content?

We are essentially a technology company. Except for myself everyone else works on development and design. My time is evenly divided between managing the product development and the business development.

How they make money

Revenue models and sustainability

 

Would you say your business model is sustainable?

Yes, we’re near profitability. We raised some investment some time back, and we’re going to break even and become cash-flow positive this year.

How much is your yearly or monthly revenue?

As a privately held company we don’t share that information.

Where does your revenue go?

Covering costs, further development and people. Our infrastructure costs are mainly hosting, and the costs of that mostly double every three months. People are the other big cost.

How much do you pay to your contributors?

We don’t create content, we curate it. For our four person staff we pay monthly salaries. We also have two people working as contractors, almost full time.

What about profit?

Hiring more people and expanding our development team. Right now, a lot of our development time goes into serving clients, and less time than we would like into research and development.

What virtual or physical products do you sell?

Software, plugins or apps, Reports, Special editions of content

What other revenue sources you have?

Selling user, usage or search data

Do you see your publication as your main product?

The website is mainly a playground to show our technology and tools. Calling it just a marketing a channel is too narrow, because it’s also a public channel for politics. So I think it’s a mix of marketing channel but also a place that we can use to experiment.

What would be the most important thing on your road to sustainability?

Scaling the number of clients and services that we have. It’s more of an organic growth that we’re looking for – not to raise lots and lots of money and hire twenty people. We are also very much focused on trying to experiment with new media. I think of sustainability not only as commercial sustainability but also in terms of constant innovation and having the resources to do that.