Those in the online publishing game constantly compete for the chance to put content in front of Internet users, and a new partnership between CBS Interactive and the content discovery platform nRelate may raise the stakes.
The partnership allows nRelate to employ its content recommendation technology on properties like CBSSports.com, CNET, and CBSNews.com. For CBS Interactive, the partnership will help the company appeal to brands as it shifts more toward content production. While the use of nRelate's platform may also keep users engaged with CBS Interactive content for longer online, the real winner in the deal is nRelate, which will benefit from its association with a blue-chip media property.
The partnership marks the end of a wild summer for nRelate, which was acquired by IAC's Ask.com in early July. Only weeks later, Ask purchased About.com from the New York Times Company for $300 million, adding over three million additional items of content to nRelate's network. Neil Mody, nRelate's founder and CEO, notes that the platform—which has currently served 1.2 billion impressions—will serve 3 billion by year's end as the network triples.
Mody noted that nRelate's roots are in smaller properties like blogs, but he sees this as an important shift for the content discovery platform. "We've been traditionally owners of the blogosphere," he said. "There are a lot of niches there yet not a lot of scale. With CBS Interactive we layer on another portion of the network and add a lot of great news and top-tier sites."
Though Mody maintains that their backgrounds and focuses differ, nRelate now has some formidable properties in its arsenal to compete with others in the space like Outbrain, a well-known content discovery and monetization platform with media partners like MarketWatch, NBC News and Reuters.
As for the future, Mody hopes to focus less on rivalries and more on honing strategy and developing new products. He notes that the company will be working on two new products for the coming months while examining its new pools of data to better user experience. "We're ramping up our uniques tremendously," he said. "And with this extra data, we can really start to understand how people are consuming content across the Web."