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These two brands prove that online publishing has not reached dead end yet

Updated on June 1, 2016
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Angelique is a London-based entrepreneur, writer, and traveller. Her cup of tea includes business, finance, health, media, art and politics.

When Dom Einhorn launched Born2Invest last year, he just proved that there were still areas in the digital publishing industry that remained unexplored. His very own mobile app, a curator focused on business and finance news, shook the publishing market for its uniqueness and ambition.

Content curation isn’t really a new niche. Flipboard, perhaps the biggest name in the industry before Facebook, Apple, and independent content publisher like Buzzfeed jumped on the curation bandwagon, had been emulated by various companies in the past, making the curation market bigger every year. But what Einhorn did is one thing that even Zuckerberg and Cook never thought of doing: become multilingual and global.

Born2Invest is currently available in more than 20 languages. Apart from English and major European languages, news summaries within the app can be read in Arabic, Bengali, Czech, French, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Polish, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese, Croatian, Macedonian, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian and Ukrainian. “Our goal is to expand to more than 50 languages in 120 countries within the next 12 months, which we plan to achieve by staying faithful to our brand: well-written, multilingual content delivered with a strong curatorial voice and sophisticated layout,” Einhorn said.

The app is updated constantly throughout the business day. Einhorn also revealed that they only curate stories from respected news sites. “We carefully vet all sources for quality and accuracy. We have a dedicated team focused on reviewing hundreds of news from these reputable sources.”

Since the app’s launch in the third quarter of 2015, it has already managed to capture new users from non-English speaking nations. It has now active users in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Germany, Macedonia, and Russia. “[This] signifies the success of delivering content from a language according to the market, that content isn’t just about English,” added Einhorn.

For Geoffrey Gray of True Ink, however, there’s life outside the publishing world, or in his own words, “click-driven world.” Gray, an author and a renowned crime journalist, wants to give audience “experiential” content. In other words, the readers get to experience what they read—see wineskin being made firsthand, watch a bullfight somewhere in Spain—and become part of the community. This inimitable business model, which is highly enticing for True Ink’s dedicated, exotic readers, has also helped Gray to generate more money for bigger endeavors, such as buying a racehorse to be stabled and bet on by the readers themselves on Long Island, New York.

“I thought, why not try to bring True back and take that old pulpy model and bring it to life with an experiential component?” Gray told DigiDay, talking about ’30s pulp magazine that served as his inspiration for the project.

However, as this is something small and relatively new from an industry standpoint, Gray knows that there are still lots of things to be done to make it a dependable source of profit, or to make his business model a giant niche in the future. David Plotz, CEO of Atlas Obscura, True Ink’s most recent business collaborator, admits that it would only cater to a specific audience, and this is something they need to identify for every project they embark on.

One thing is undeniable: True Ink’s rather risky business model shows that there exist a thousand possibilities in the still-nascent publishing world. While for Einhorn it’s all about language and accessibility, Gray seems to hit big-time when he says it’s all about experience and going outside the online realm. So the challenge lies in identifying more key points like these.

Thus, startup tech entrepreneurs mulling over revolutionizing the publishing segment must pinpoint specific industry features that can still be tweaked, changed, and developed. Don’t worry, True Ink and Born2Invest proved that it is not only possible, it is, as their respective successes show, effectual, too.


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