Content consumption has become an all-inclusive activity: a pipeline to knowledge and enjoyment, but one that often requires trimming through a forest of tangents and clickbait. Not long ago, content was consumed at a specific time and place: train rides to and from the office, evenings on the sofa, weekends. Most people read the morning paper and maybe were subscribed to one weekly or monthly magazine. Nowadays, with ever present devices and corporate marketing engines constantly running, the content pipeline has become a floodgate.
Changes in Content Consumption Behavior
A survey by the American Press Institute from 2018 looked into news consumption behaviors and found that 4 in 10 Americans scanned headlines several times a day. We scan. We scroll. We browse. And we do it all the time, filling each available moment with finger and mouse movements. Of course, we sometimes eventually click and read something too. But it’s getting more and more difficult to make this decision: to decide what content is worthy of reading in full. The fact that we are exposed to so much content makes the selection process cumbersome, time-consuming and frustrating.
Curation Is Essential
Online content has reached the point of needing curation, and that’s exactly the premise of Listory, a recently launched “content refinery” app. Listory was founded in March 2020 by Yaniv Gilad (CEO) and Yaron Galai (Active Chairman), veterans of Outbrain, a leading web advertising and content discovery platform. Frustrated by content overload, they set out to create a product focusing on content itself rather than the stickiness it creates. In Gilad’s words, a product that “delights as opposed to trying to keep your attention for as long as possible.”
Powered By (Human) Experts
What separates Listory from other curation apps like Flipboard is the extent of the upfront refinement. Listory is powered by human curators sifting through content and refining what’s considered “good” content for each of its users. The app relies on vetted content sources, namely newsletters, that by definition are curated by industry experts—creators and aggregators who spend time consuming content in an area they’re passionate about and include a subset of that content in their newsletters. There are over 1,000 newsletters included on the app covering technology, business, lifestyle, hobbies, and more.
All stories featured in these newsletters are crossed-referenced to check the number of mentions each piece gets. This effectively gauges popularity and forms consensus around the top available content. The result is a highly distilled list of content pieces. Users can set reading goals and tailor how often content is refined. They can also save and share stories, and schedule content to be read at a later time.
Listory prides itself on being the anti-social network feed. As Gilad noted, there’s no infinity feed, no content algorithms, and a general departure from any action that might take attention away from an immersive content experience. Quality is always prioritized over quantity, even if the result is a significantly shorter feed.
The Listory team is so passionate about their refinement mission that they’ve created the Listory Challenge: if the first story a user sees in the “For You” section of the app is not relevant, Listory will credit the user $0.10 to be redeemed for any newspaper or newsletter subscription.
As mentioned above, at the core of Listory’s current content platform are newsletters, specifically free newsletters that are hand-picked. The app functions as a repository and distribution channel for these newsletters. This approach stays true to Listory’s ethos, but can come at the expense of scalability. The team is addressing this with an option for users to submit newsletters, and for curators to curate their newsletters directly in Listory.
On the heels of a recently closed funding round of US$4 million, CEO Yaniv Gilad mentioned a couple of key focus areas for driving adoption and growth. The first strategy surrounds expanding beyond free newsletters to paid newsletters, with Listory as the access point for that premium content. The second focus area involves incorporating social personas into the platform, so that content can be refined not only through newsletter mentions, but also based on what industry experts are sharing on social media. All of this in service of Listory’s vision: to help those who truly care about the content they consume be delighted.
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