The media industry is dying and there is very little we seem to be able to do about it. Changing consumer behaviour and a shift towards the digital stream has forever changed the traditional media scene.
This is quite evident in the Malaysian media scene with many notable publications either suffering from slow readership growth or in some cases retrenchment and eventual closure. Being part of the media scene, this is quite a worrying trend and we have been closely monitoring the situation.
That is why when the more press announcement happened by the team, we had to find out more about this potential solution.
We spoke to Sean Teoh, CEO and Founder of Monster Press Sdn Bhd, to find out more about his new AI solution and how he plans to revolutionise the publishing industry in Malaysia and eventually the region. He was kind enough to share his thoughts about the situation.
How does MOPress work? What are the added benefits for the service over other more traditional CMS tools like WordPress and Wix?
MOPress is an AI-publishing platform built to help the media by offering a chance for journalists to create high-quality and engaging content with proprietary tools and services. The platform allows Mobile Journalists (MOJOs) from all over the world to put their content up for sale and work directly with publishers. Publishers get on-demand access to over 3,000 content creators of all experiences and backgrounds, and writers and journalists are empowered in their careers while generating passive income from these publishers. Currently, MOPress places more focus on enterprise users which are namely publishers. It enables them to find specific content quickly and in a cost-efficient way.
On the other hand, traditional CMS tools that publishers are using are not designed specifically for the needs of a digital publisher which is to have a platform that is able to serve content to a wide demographic of readers with different content consumption behaviours in different content platforms. Moreover, MOPress believes that it is important for editors to understand their readers from existing data and use that as a guiding framework in generating content. This is a stark difference from editors who are still creating news based on their gut feelings. MOPress then fills in the gap by providing these tools for publishers and editors so that they can strategically plan content for their readers.
What are the AI tools and services brands can expect from MOPress? What are some of the tangible benefits?
MOPress focuses on helping editors to discover and create content.
Currently, the AI tools available on the MOPress platform will leverage on available data to help match the right MOJOs to the particular stories needed by the publishers. In helping these MOJOs discover the right missions, this helps to improve compatibility between MOJOs and the publishers. This automated process saves time and money in content research and creation. Specifically, it reduces editorial costs by 50% and maintenance and services cost by 80%.
Furthermore, other AI tools currently being developed on the MOPress platform for journalists include interactive content tools, text to audio and video conversion, programmatic capabilities, user segmentation, forecasting tools for the virality of content and AI-labelling tools. These tools offer journalists the ability to effectively develop and enhance content for their stories while helping publishers plan and manage their content across channels.
Empowering journalism and journalists seem to be a strong focus for the service. How does it help the community?
MOPress provides a new democratic avenue for anyone to become content contributors. Anyone, whether they are freelancers or professional journalists employed in news companies, can be reporters, food reviewers or travel writers. All that is needed is for publishers to source for them and buy their content. This will enable journalists to leverage on MOPress’ network of major publishers to generate passive income for themselves.
We do see a lot of young writers as well as retired journalists who are on MOPress making passive income by creating high-quality content. In fact, one journalist who was recently retrenched wrote to us to thank us for the opportunity in giving him the chance to do what he loves while getting passive income during this transitional period.
Tantan News is one of your publications that uses MOpress and seems to be quite a popular platform? How has MOPress helped grow its readership?
MOPress transformed the business model of Chinese language news portal Tantannews.com by completely outsourcing content creation to Mobile Journalists (MOJOs). This decreased the cost of content creation. Furthermore, it enabled them to widen coverage and provide more varieties of content categories.
AI tools also decreased the cost of technical maintenance. Hence, Tantan News was able to achieve lower overhead costs and improved monthly readership to over 20M page views a month because of more engaging content.
In fact, with the Wuhan virus making headlines during the festive season, Tantan News was still able to get full coverage and timely updates with the help of MOJOs. This is so even when the editor was not working full-time during the long holiday. The editor was just in-charge of doing proofreading before it was published.
This is an example of the future of publishing where everyone does not have to work around the clock and is able to work anywhere to save time and cost.
The media industry in the region seems to be quite traditional – how do you overcome these challenges?
The media industry can be traditional but I think that every business won’t mind trying to adopt a new model if it is cost-saving and earns them more revenue. What we can do is to provide step by step help in adapting to the new workflow of the changing industry landscape, as well as know-how and workshops to all stakeholders.
We are also in the process of learning and improving the MOPress platform to ensure quality content for publishers, and thereby their readers. while making sure MOJOs are being paid well for their work.
What is next for the publishing industry in the region?
I believe that big content management platforms like Tiktok, Instagram and SnapChat will storm the industry. Hyperlocal or small media companies can merely leverage on their services and content. This is because in terms of capital and market size, it is impossible to compete with any of them head-on.
I think that it is important for the digital publishing industry to continue developing multiple formats to fit multiple platforms so as to cater to the varied needs of readers. In a digital era where content is king, this will ensure that readers are able to view or receive quality content in their preferred channels.
On top of that, publishers will need to be very skilled in managing their data so as to have the upper hand in acquiring brands and loyal readers. Hence, affordable data management tools for the industry need to be developed.
With mass data, AI will play a very important role. It will come in place to empower publishers to discover great content. It will also empower content creators to create content faster and more accurately. Additionally, AI will help to manage, schedule and post contents in all social and messaging platforms.
In terms of advertising, AI will help to analyse data and optimize earnings from all monetization platforms.
Overall, despite its immense capabilities, it is my belief that AI cannot replace human creativity and innovative thinking in another 10-20 years for content creation. However, AI can help in doing research, sourcing and automating content from text to voice to video and other formats to engage with users.
With these advancements in technology, I believe that in the future, good quality content will be more cost-efficient and that content creators will create their own fanbase to generate much more value and make more in terms of their coverage.