News Corp's Storyful shifts into content creation

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 25 November 2015

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News Corp's social aggregation service, Storyful, is ramping up its content creation capabilities and using Australia as a test market before expanding those capabilities globally.

It is shifting from sourcing content to creating it directly for brands in a move it says "closes the loop" between advertisers and the user-generated content that the service locates and verifies.

Storyful managing editor, Aine Kerr, said content creation is a complementary pillar to what the business can already provide in terms of discovery, monitoring, mining of the social web and acquiring the rights to content. But Kerr is hoping to move beyond just telling people the basic facts.

“Right now, what we've been doing is serving up the content, saying this is the who, what, when, where, why and how," she said.

"What we haven't done is take that piece of content and turn it into a premium fully-narrated, fullypackaged and produced video, so we want to hire video producers here so they will take that content and turn it into stories."

The service has only been active in this market for six months, however Neil Varcoe, partnerships director for the business in Australia, said the operation can't meet demand fast enough, so it makes sense that the business is set to expand its remit.

“Storyful is effectively a creative agency,” Varcoe said. “We will respond to briefs like any creative agency would. We'll dive into the audience and understand them first and we'll connect with them, and we're about to be in a position where we can create content, which is a unique thing for Storyful. We haven't been creating content up until now.”

Kerr added that brands in Australia have a strong desire to try out new methods of storytelling.

"[Whether] it's the agencies we're talking to, or clients we're working with, there’s this willingness to try new things,” she said. “The ad market here – there's a lot of innovation and creative here – people are brave and we're scaling up right now because we just can't keep up with the demand."

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