On April 4, at Simulmedia in New York, PromaxBDA’s latest Emerging Media Workshop informed and enlightened a packed house with speakers from Guide, Xfinity and Frank N. Magid Associates.
Following each presentation, members could use their mobile devices to ask questions, and many took advantage. Below, we present the second round of questions from the Guide presentation, and the company’s corresponding answers. We will be posting additional answers from all three companies on a daily basis, so check back in for new installment.
Questions for Guide
Answered by: Leslie Bradshaw, COO
Will you be a free service to consumers?
Guide operates on a freemium-based model. We provide users with four free news anchors and then allow them to further personalize their experience by purchasing additional avatars and news backgrounds through the app. In the future, we will offer additional anchors and newsrooms to the user via publisher partnerships and advertising sponsorships.
Will the avatars speak multiple languages? Or have accents?
We are launching in English, but plan to roll out additional languages starting in 2014. We currently have a variety of English and British accents that users can choose from. Outside of the buzz we’ve received in the US, we have had a lot of interest from Japan, France, Germany, China, and Brazil. These are all countries whose native languages we’d like to eventually support.
Are you scraping the content or is there an official partnership with the news sources?
Guide is capable of working with any compatible RSS-driven content. As our users continue to add more sources to their profiles and as publishers sign up to partner with us, we will rapidly increase the number of sources we actively monitor. In other words, we both index sites as well as partner directly with publishers. The publisher partnerships allow publishers to customize their newsroom, monetize their reporters through human voice over reads and custom avatars (“news anchors”), and participate in our revenue sharing program.
Will you eventually have partnerships with brands? Like for branded character anchors?
We will be partnering with brands starting in the summer of 2013, which will include everything from branded news anchors (e.g., Master Chief from Microsoft’s Halo) to advertorial content development.
As someone who is my car a lot, it seems like there could be an audio component to this…? So that my favorite sites could be read to me while driving?
We agree wholeheartedly and have it on our 2014 roadmap. In the meantime, we are laser-focused on delivering the full audio and visual Guide experience across tablets, smart TVs and browsers.
How fast will guide deliver breaking news? How?
Currently we are on a four-hour delay, but aim to reduce it going forward.