Dataminr is a social analytics company that gives its clients an edge on getting breaking news first by using an advanced algorithm that hones in on similar sets of tweets around the world, thus alerting clients to a trend—or breaking news—in CNN’s case.
“It is really about how we gather news,” CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker said. “At our core, that is who we are and what we are about. News-gathering is the key to everything that we do, and that is what we are very focused on.”
Zucker is known to be planning big changes at CNN, and this partnership is seen as a way to revolutionize the newsgathering process.
“We think it is revolutionary for newsgathering,” SVP of CNN.com K.C. Estenson said, jokingly calling it to “bionic vision for our reporters.”
Will the revolution stop at just newsgathering? Etenson says there are no plans yet to build specific segments or shows around the service.
CNN’s partnership with both companies is exclusive until “Dataminr for News” hits the market, sometime this year at an undisclosed price for clients. The network says it has no financial stake in the product, and will fall in line as just another customer when their exclusive partnership ends.
CNN has already used the program for about two stories a day over the last six months, including the mall shooting in Maryland this past weekend and finding the most shared photos online during Nelson Mandela’s memorial service.
This is an interesting development for social TV news, as to this point TV news networks have mostly used social to integrate viewer comments on-air, but not predominately for purposes of competitive edge in news gathering.