South African startup called Mampoer Shorts aims to challenge traditional article publishing and distribution models by offering journalists the opportunity to sell their long-form articles directly to the reader.
The advent of the world wide web has seen many traditional business models being challenged and turned on their heads, with almost every business having to embrace Internet technology and incorporate it into its business model in one form or the other.
Add to this the aggressive uptake of mobile and smart phones as well, you then have consumers who always connect to the Net and who want information at their fingertips.
Today, consumers use their tablets and smartphones to access a lot of content yet traditional publishing companies — in book, newspaper and magazine publishing — have been slow to adapt to the new technologies.
The traditional companies try to translate their ”bricks and mortar” business model into the Internet by either offering paid for online subscriptions of their print publication’s version or offering content for free and then bombarding readers with advertisements.
Innovation has been particularly lacking as far as online content publishing goes, Mampoer Shorts (Mampoer) hopes to revolutionise this.
Mampoer, according to Liana Meadon who is a Project Manager at the startup, will be commissioning articles and taking article submissions from journalists online. The articles will be in-depth and well researched ranging from 10,000 to 15,000 words.
Meadon explained that some journalists feel restricted with the approximate 1,000-word limit hence they can’t dig deeper into a particular topic they are covering.
“We hope to offer them a platform to do this and also offer the reader an opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge on particular topics,” she said.
Once journalists submit their work online, Meadon elaborated that there will be a rigorous process of quality control by Mampoer such as proof reading and editing.
The finished article will then be made available online in ePub format and for sale at US$2.99 to readers.
Founded by Anton Harber, Irwin Manoim, Fred Withers and Noko Makgato, the company seems to have embraced the idea that the publisher or media company of the future is one who owns a platform and uses it to distribute their contents electronically.
Also, given the article length, quality of the content will be key as these will surely be read in a “lean back” mode as opposed to the quick consumption of current online content.
Meadon concluded by explaining that writers stand also to benefit financially as they will receive 30 percent of the selling price and that the potential is unlimited as they expect thousands of downloads (purchases) per each article.
This is a great innovation in the publishing industry which is expected to grab the attention of traditional publishing companies. It also has a huge potential to attract thousands (possibly millions in future once it reaches popularity) of readers.
As far as innovation goes, Mampoer (Mampoer on Facebook and on Twitter) has surely created its own niche in content publishing. That alone should get it some attention.