THE PROBLEM: Breaking the echo chamber 🗞.
Most of us arrive at a news source via giants such as Facebook or Google, with approximately 80% of news referrals coming from them. They earn money from our clicks and therefore are motivated to keep our attention until we click. Their graph engines tend to show posts with a high probability of engagement, and these probabilities are based on past clicks. This creates a bias feedback loop.
Our view is that the tech giants know that keeping our attention is easiest when we are fed with extreme, sensational content that reflects and reinforces our own opinions. This creates the echo chamber.
THE SOLUTION: A trusted global news paywall ✅.
OneSub uses AI to understand thousands of articles a day, which aims to provide a personalised news source that encourages diversity of ideas. We will monitor what you read and fill in any knowledge gaps. By sharing our revenue with publishers, our goal is to become the most trusted global paywall for news.
In 2018, 64% of adults sourced news online, doubled since 2013 (This 82% in younger adults of 16-24 yr olds, suggesting a growing market).
Political polarisation & fake news seems to be increasing in line with this trend of online consumption of news. This is creating an increased awareness of news bias.
With improvements in Natural Language Processing and machine learning, this is an addressable problem and one that OneSub is aiming to solve.
We aggregate & understand news from dozens of publishers already, providing balance from the outset.
OneSub can also provide instant alternatives to content directly from Facebook, Twitter, Apple News and so on.
Our view is that by truly understanding the articles you read, we can also understand you and your bias.
Rather than focusing on quantity of clicks & engagement, we intend on focusing on the quality of diverse, opinionated reporting so the reader can be confident that they’re getting the whole picture.
Substantial accomplishments to date
OneSub has already built and deployed a working prototype of the platform which demonstrates the core capacities that OneSub requires.
These capacities include;.
➜ Accurately and regularly gathering content from leading newspapers in an appropriate and automated way.
➜ Using machine learning techniques (AI) to break down articles and understand both the content ontology of the articles and the journalistic sentiment towards the ontological entities.
➜ Continuous classification of articles from differing sources, using emergent ontological clustering techniques, into “stories” for analysis and presentation to the reader.
➜ A simple customer experience which provides access to the leading “stories”, presentation of the composite articles and with particular attention drawn to 2-3 articles which present alternative points of view.
➜ iOS & Android Apps and a Google Chrome Extension which provide alternatives via the device-native “Share” pattern on mobile or via a page-overlay in Chrome.
The paid news market is worth £410 million in the UK and $4.583 billion in the US.
By acting as an impartial intermediary to this market we intend to grow and capture a proportion of paywall consumers.
In addition, we believe our data model opens the potential of a secondary market in the wholesale of real-time sentiment-trend data around all major organisation, politicians and world events and the supply of licensed, curated news feeds.
OneSub aims to offer access to all online news through a single subscription. Our goal is to capture 25% of the global paywall market within 5-10 years.
OneSub will sell subscriptions for £2/week (basic) and £4/week (premium) or a blended £111 per year which will give us a gross revenue of £1.1m per 10k subscribers.
OneSub’s model focuses on economies of scale. We understand that acquiring customers is expensive, but once acquired our per-unit direct costs are very low.
We aim to be a nearly fully automated system, providing us with a highly scalable platform.
Use of proceeds
Your investment will allow us to turn our early proof of concept into a publicly available news platform.
We will use this investment to build a dedicated development team and take the product to market. More specifically this investment is shaped to allow us to bring on two full-time engineers - a senior and a junior - and create a reasonably monthly marketing budget.
We plan to move to a seed round within 12 months, however this round will provide up to 15 months of runway, notwithstanding revenue.