Share: NewsCred Makes Friends, Not Enemies


By Ben Crane

Last week, NewsCred CEO Shafqat Islam and former Wolff Olins account manager Alicianne Rand—now NewsCred’s Marketing Director—came to share with us how they are disrupting the journalism and publishing industry while developing their brand identity.

NewsCred is a technology company that licenses and curates articles, photos and videos from over 750 high quality news sources, from The Guardian to The Economist.

The process of capturing the world’s best journalism is a complicated one, but Shafqat and Alicianne took the time to explain their method. They capture, license, customize, package, and deliver the world’s best journalism all in one place. Sounds simple right?

But NewsCred is not a news aggregator. Instead, it serves journalists- by getting them paid for their work, publishers- by offering customized content, and brands- by making it easy for them to host relevant, quality content with the editorial tools they’ve built. Brands they have worked with include Pepsi, Forbes, and Orange.

The technological abilities of NewsCred’s platform are impressive, but what I found most game-changing about them is how they work with publishers of great content, rather than against them. Their model is one of partnership and facilitation, a trend we’ve seen many startups embrace in the burgeoning sharing economy, from AirBnB to Getaround.

This spirit of looking first to cooperate, rather than compete, is not unique to startups either—industry behemoths are experimenting with this strategy too. Just the other day, Microsoft announced their newest offering, an app for IOS, Android and Windows 8 devices called SmartGlass, which lets you connect competitor’s devices to the Xbox 360 platform. In this case, it’s about providing a better entertainment experience by leveraging the products and services of those traditionally thought of as competitors, rather than Microsoft trying to provide every piece responsible for that experience.

As a brand consultancy, part of our job is reimagining how companies can operate in previously dismissed market spaces. This often requires new partnerships with existing companies, and a focus on what the brand does have, rather than what it lacks. So long as people are interested in learning, they’ll be interested in access to quality information. I’m excited to see which partnerships NewsCred initiates in the coming months.

Learn more about NewsCred  and Xbox SmartGlass.

Ben Crane is an intern on the Wolff Olins Strategy team.

Illustration by James Kape