Sydney start-up Streem launches news site

Sydney start-up Streem launches news site

Summary: Sydney-based start-up Streem yesterday formally launched a new online news site, saying it would differ from traditional media outlets by paying readers a small fee for any content they submitted.

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TOPICS: Start-Ups
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Sydney-based start up Streem yesterday formally launched a new online news site, saying it would differ from traditional media outlets by paying readers a small fee for any content they submit.

Streem spokesperson Elgar Welch said the site currently had about eight editorial staff, and also supplemented its content with wire feeds from companies like Australian Associated Press (AAP).

However, while most other large news websites operate on traditional publishing models, taking tips for free from readers and paying staff and freelancers, Welch said Streem would pay everyone.

"Streem.com.au is about giving everyone a place to access the latest news and earn from their media," he said. "It's the next logical step online." Streem's model sees readers able to earn 25 per cent of an individual page's advertising revenue, with the start-up expecting to pay out between one cent and AU$100 per photo, video or blog.

Welch declined to reveal who was behind the site, but said it was a number of private investors who had seen the writing on the wall when it came to traditional media. In particular, one investor had a background in film and television.

In terms of design, Streem's site appears similar to other online news and discussion outlets such as SMH.com.au, News.com.au or Crikey in Australia, or the Huffington Post and New York Times in the United States.

Commentary
Although Streem has launched with a seemingly innovative revenue model that could see some money handed back to users, we don't think it will help Streem really get ahead.

At the moment most of the site's content appears to be generated by AAP news wires, and no author names appear to be listed. Today's world of internet content is a cut-throat one, and it's hard to see exactly what readers will be attracted to in the first place when Streem doesn't offer a unique value proposition compared to existing rivals with more resources.

In addition, many other start-ups that are heavily dependent upon interaction from Australian readers, such as Perth-based Norg Media, don't appear to be gaining significant traction.

For example, when this article was published, PerthNorg, one of Norg Media's websites, was leading with an article that appeared to have been voted up by only seven readers.

bootstrappr opinion: BUST

Topic: Start-Ups

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3 comments
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  • Norg :)

    Renai, from what I understand the comparison you are making between Norg and Streem is that we rely on interaction from our readers? I think that significantly underestimates the bigger vision of Norg media. I am interested in creating a completely new kind of media company that fully embraces the potential of people-powered news. The direction the company is not set by me, but our users and we hope to be making significant changes shortly that have been largely designed around their requests. Is 7 votes really the way to value a company's success?

    Sorry to hijack your story on an unrelated news site - I'm very interested to see if the pay per post model works. I have toyed with the idea myself, but from speaking to our users their motivation to write comes not from money, but in the desire to share stories and create a new vision for media.
    anonymous
  • Norg

    Hey Bronwen,

    thanks for your comments! I don't think you have hijacked the story at all :) It's an interesting discussion.

    I agree with you -- 7 votes is of course not a full measure of a company's success. I just used the example to make a point in this case.

    And of course nobody knows exactly to what extent the Australian media environment will be changed by people powered news of the type being pushed by Norg and others.

    The fact remains, however, that all web publishers are looking at the area with keen interest. Some business models will succeed and some fail, but the whole market will eventually see a seismic change along the way.

    I will be fascinated to see where Streem goes in future, as well as Norg.

    Cheers,

    Renai

    PS anyone who wants to appear on bootstrappr e-mail renai.lemay@zdnet.com.au
    anonymous
  • and 5 months later...

    And so, barely 5 months later, the sites closes.
    Seems you were right on hte money with this one Renai - http://www.zdnet.com.au/blogs/bootstrappr/soa/Social-news-start-up-Streem-shuts-down/0,2001092438,339293552,00.htm

    I wish them no ill-will, but personally I couldn't see the point of difference or how the business model was to work
    anonymous