Last week, Digital First Media announced a partnership with Rumble, the mobile publishing platform. I’ve written about Digital First Media before, when they announced their plan to “unbolt” digital newsrooms from their print culture. This partnership is a move in that direction.
They aren’t just a new Rumble client. The two companies instead have partnered up for mutual benefits. According to Rumble cofounder and CRO Uyen Tieu, they had a team of developers in DFM’s newsrooms for a week, going through their systems, poking around their servers and taking stock of what they are currently working with. This way, says Tieu, Rumble can work with them to give them exactly what they want and need. Tieu says that they are a good fit for publishers like Digital First Media because they are a centralized platform “but we are agnostic in that we are open to working with everyone…we play well in the sandbox with others.”
The partnership included what they’re calling ‘Innovation Labs’ where Rumble’s developers work with Digital First’s in creating new features and functions. Tieu cites reporters on the marijuana beat in Colorado who are trying to cover all the changes and affects of the legalization laws and need better ways to do it.
Instead of feeling constrained by the products, they can build upon them. We work closely with them as they figure out what is their new thing that they want to put out there, and they work with our architecture so they know that it’s stable, but they are able to be as creative as they can be.
“We made bets that publishers need a system that is centralized…that it was important to be agnostic, and that there are real time capabilities,” she continues. That works for Digital First’s mission to unbolt their newsrooms.
Tieu, who comes from a background at Viacom and content creation, feels publishers’ growing pains. She says many publishers get lost in the “Bermuda Triangle” of mobile applications — finding talent, overcoming operational headaches like consistently changing technology, and the overall costs of creating and maintaining a mobile presence — are all good enough reasons to feel like it’s better to stick with a simple online presence.
But too many publishers are getting “anchored with what they have right now,” she notes.
“If 50% of your traffic comes with sub par and not very competitive mobile products. What would it look like if you had something even slightly better?”
That’s a question worth considering before you shrug at your mobile presence. What do you think holds publishers back from innovating? Are you unbolting your digital newsroom?