File sharing company drop.io is getting into the PR market, targeting the press release and multimedia distribution sector. A new service, PressLift, will be launched in the coming weeks.
PRNewser received a demo of the new service recently. Here is an example release.
As of now, the service includes Google Analytics, but the company is planning on adding more tracking and monitoring features as they roll out. One can also track number of views, unique views, registration, re-tweets, Facebook shares, emails, and downloads of their content. Additional features include settings for embargoes and FTC compliance, and of course all the traditional features one would expect with a multimedia wire service: social sharing/indexing, support for video, images, audio, documents, text and links.
Mediaite’s Rachel Sklar reported that Soraya Darabi, manager of digital partnerships & social-media marketing at the New York Times, is leaving to join Drop.io as product lead for PressLift.
The company is considering entering the market at a price of $500 per release, although the pricing is still being debated internally and the company will want to give bulk deals to boost their user base.
One potential issue we see is that at this price, PressLift lacks the distribution capabilities that the major wire services have. A drop.io rep told PRNewser they see PressLift as a “compliment to wire services.” This could be a barrier to entry as PR agencies and internal PR teams are already looking to cut down on vendor expenses and may not be likely to add $500 on top of their existing costs for each press release. The drop.io rep we spoke with said, “most companies not using cheaper wire services such as PRWeb and PitchEngine.” They “have to use [wires like] PRNewswire” and “this is a compliment to that.”
Jason Kintzler, founder of PitchEngine, a similar press release/multimedia distribution company, charges nothing for the first 30-days of service and $35 per month/$400 per year after that.
He told PRNewser that PressLift is a “copy” of his service. “It’s merely a multimedia release creation tool – which virtually every wire service already offers,” he said. “Not sure I understand where they plan to appeal to corporations that already utilize these services. We think the future of distribution looks much different.” Kintzler’s PitchEngine counts Microsoft, IBM, Whole Foods and Zappos as clients, among others.
That being said, drop.io has been growing fast, has $4 million in venture capital funding and is led by well connected web entrepreneur Sam Lessin.