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News Direct was conceived, designed and built as a next-gen news release and digital content distribution SaaS platform. It was completely custom-built from the ground up with proprietary software sitting atop the AWS Cloud.
Founder Gregg Castano leveraged the knowledge and insights gained from his more than 32 years at industry-leader and Berkshire Hathaway-owned Business Wire, which included serving as company president from 2009-2017 (when he left the company), to develop a 21st Century tool that was aligned with how communications professionals have become accustomed to working in the modern age.
As such, the workflow is automated, self-directed and highly intuitive. It requires little ramp up time for users to become comfortable with the functionality and provides a significantly accelerated and streamlined user experience. Because of its cloud-based infrastructure, the platform is able to offer a higher level of security than competitors, employing cloud isolation encryption to safeguard the data of each individual account in its own unique URL.
News Direct has greatly expanded the scope of the content formats that are able to be distributed by making it possible to transmit multimedia content such as video without the requirement to embed it within a text-based news release. This is a limitation of all other News Direct competitors.
With certain adjustments to its downstream endpoint delivery strategy, this capability opens up an entirely new and quite large adjacent universe of potential users from within the digital story-telling and content marketing sphere.
Another major area in which News Direct has sought to upend and disrupt the status quo is in its pricing model. While the traditional wires are locked into a virtually inextricable model reliant on word counts and geographic pricing tiers (resulting in increasingly unsustainable rates for clients), News Direct’s ability to start from ground zero without any legacy revenue to protect has enabled it to construct the most transparent, predictable and affordable pricing model in the industry.
It utilizes a flat-rate model in which they charge for the number of “digital assets” being distributed, with news releases, images, video, infographics and audio files each qualifying as one asset. Each secondary asset distributed within the same order is charged as ½ an asset.
Some additional features and benefits include an in-platform stakeholder collaboration capability as well as a Performance Report function that is self-contained within the user interface. Something else competitors do not offer.
Taken together, these innovations manage to leapfrog the traditional services in almost every facet, while still providing the identical, comprehensive distribution footprint of the large incumbents.