Case Study: Storyful (Ireland)

The name of the publication and / or company

Storyful

Established

2010

Web Address

storyful.com

Form of the company

Limited company

Describe your site or business in few words.

Claire Wardle, global advocate: “Storyful is the first news agency of the social media age. The platform gives journalists the power to discover, verify and deliver the most valuable social media content. Storyful uses a unique combination of professional journalism and cutting-edge technology to separate the actionable news from the useless noise on platforms such as YouTube and Twitter.

We find and verify newsworthy content from the social web. We make this content available for our professional clients on a dashboard, daily email alerts, a private Twitter account and via access to a 24/7 email address. A few hours later the same content is used to build stories that are publicly available on Storyful.com.

It works so that we feed the dashboard with content – videos, photos, maps, everything that’s relevant. All this content has to have been verified an vetted by our journalists. Our professional clients also have access to a members-only Twitter account and they can email us requests for certain kind of content. Storyful’s clients include ABC News, the New York Times, France24, Channel4, and The Economist.

From a story in the Irish Times: “Storyful’s biggest customer is Google and its YouTube subsidiary. The most public fruit of that deal is the Google Politics Elections site where Storyful staff select videos from YouTube, such as user-generated content, attack ads, bloopers and other unexpected moments, and highlight them on the site. Storyful was founded by Mark Little, who was a journalist with RTÉ for 19 years, working with foreign news. He saw that news were breaking on the social web, which prompted him to reinvent the newswire.”

Staff numbers

Who’s creating the content

Content creators, paid full-time

27

How is your time divided between doing business and content?

“Here we’ve counted 22 journalists and 5 tech people as ‘content creators’. Storyful works 24/7, so it needs a big team. However, the journalists curate and verify information as opposed to creating original content. There are five people doing business only. Claire Wardle: “We have individual job roles, but for me it’s all business. Generally we are 70/30 for editorial.”

Business, marketing & sales, paid full-time

5

How they make money

Revenue models and sustainability

 

Would you say your business model is sustainable?

Yes. We sell news products and professional services to news companies and media organisations including YouTube, Google, New York Times, France24, Channel 4, ABC Australia, and The Economist.

How much is your yearly or monthly revenue?

We don’t disclose these figures.

Where does your revenue go?

As with any organisation, it funds the growth and development of company, staff and running costs.

How much do you pay to your contributors?

Monthly salary. We have grown from 8–10 staff to over 30 in just last 6 months.

What about profit?

We are constantly looking at developing technology solutions to help us discover content from the social web more quickly. We also hope to be able to support more news organisations deliver Storyful content in different ways, either internally within their own newsrooms or on public facing sites or as part of mobile applications.

Do you sell any services?

Training, Events

Do you see your publication as your main product?

A marketing channel is exactly what it is. We are in the process of redesigning our public facing website to make it clear exactly what Storyful is.

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

Getting up to a critical mass of clients and becoming an established tool of the newsroom.