On the hunt for new revenue models to fund its expansive media network, Scoop has launched a paid directory for brands and PR folk.
InfoPages provides brands with profiles which aggregates the content they release on Scoop. The profiles can include a logo, media and business contacts, and a description of the company. For instance Telecom, which often distributes press releases through Scoop, has a company blurb and media contacts on top of several months worth of press releases. All of these are thoroughly indexed by search engines, piggy-backing on the Scoop network's online clout and its audience of around 250,000 monthly unique New Zealand browsers.
Distributing press releases through Scoop is free and will remain free, according to general manager Alastair Thompson. The InfoPages initiative provides a way to earn money without alienating those already used to the free PR wire service.
"The contributors to Scoop, as in the people who send us content, are our natural community. As a result of this we did some thinking about how we can make Scoop more useful for them," he says.
"It's a way for us to have a commercial relationship with our contributors by providing additional value."
There are four tiers of InfoPages profiles, ranging from the Basic $30+GST per month package which includes a company logo and description, to the $120+GST per month Gold plan which includes a full profile published at the bottom of all related stories on Scoop. There's also a free InfoPages product which doesn't allow for customisation beyond a vanity URL.
The paid-directory is something Scoop has taken on board to secure funding while the online media industry struggles banner advertising, says Thompson.
"It's been apparent for quite a long time that the traditional banner display market, which is a very important part of our revenue stream, is diminishing ... We are exploring the various other ways to be innovative in this space," he says.
Thompson says editorial contributors will also receive their own InfoPages, as a way of promoting their content on the site. Additional features are being considered, he adds – with a focus on creating communities on Scoop.