When News Corp launched its own aggregator, Knewz.com, their hope was to create a profitable portal through which to drive traffic to their own properties as well as others. It was a novel strategy; the original Drudge Report model that they copied focused only on the homepage and did not receive compensation from the destinations of their traffic (though rumors have claimed otherwise). News Corp hoped to “double dip” by getting ad dollars on Knewz.com while also scoring ad dollars on the destination sites that they owned.
Their experiment, which has been marked as “Beta” since it’s launch three years ago, has officially been put to rest. The reason: Low revenue. Their brief statement:
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We started Knewz as an experiment in news aggregation because we wanted to gather a diverse range of quality journalism, to highlight all sides of every story and to protect and project provenance. We certainly had provenance, but not profits, and so we bid Knewz farewell. Thank you to the millions of Knewz users who saw the value of the service and supported our mission.
According to Variety:
While it was in operation, Knewz pulled headlines from News Corp’s own stable of pubs (including the Journal) as well as from hundreds of third-party news orgs. Those included CNBC, CNN, Bloomberg, the Washington Post, the New York Times, NBC News and the New York Post, in addition to Murdoch’s Fox News.
There was also an ideological motivation behind Knewz (whose clunky name drew instant mockery). In announcing the project, News Corp touted it as a “groundbreaking news platform free of filter bubbles.”
“We live in a world of vexatious verticals, of crass clickbait, of polarized perspectives and fallacious, fact-free feeds — Knewz is knowing and needed,” News Corp CEO Robert Thomson said in a January 2020 statement.
The need to disseminate accurate news and truthful opinions is paramount in America today. News Corp chose to link to sites like CNN, WaPo, and the NY Times. It’s no wonder they failed in the end.