Matthew Watson

  • Article
    STN’s secret sauce is an in-house artificial intelligence algorithm. see more

    Source: The Star
    Author: David Paddon

    SendtoNews is the biggest sports video service you’ve never heard of






















     

    Matthew Watson was a sports fan long before becoming a tech executive, supporting West Coast teams like the Vancouver Canucks, the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Seattle Mariners.

    “And the Grizzlies when they were in Vancouver. And now the Raptors,” he says.

    Now those teams — and many more — are part of the business model for Watson’s SendtoNews, a Victoria-based startup that has grown over the past decade into one of North America’s largest distributors of short-form sports videos.

    “Basically all the major leagues for the U.S. and Canada, we’re their exclusive distribution partner for short-form video,” Watson says. 

    Despite its success providing highlights of nearly every imaginable type of game played professionally, SendtoNews (STN) isn’t well known to the average sports fan — and that’s how the privately owned company likes to do business.

    The low-profile strategy seems to be working, judging from its list of partners, which includes the NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS, CFL, PGA and NHL.

    Many of its 1,600 local and national publishing partners are also high profile, although mainly in the United States: the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, New York Post as well as Postmedia and Torstar in Canada.

    “In the U.S., we’ve probably got a 60 per cent penetration of newspaper dot-coms and similar with radio dot-coms and we’re well on our way with native digital sites and also broadcast dot-coms,” Watson says.

    “We’ve probably got similar numbers in Canada as well, certainly on the newspaper dot-com front with Postmedia and Sun Media and the Toronto Star and others.”

    STN’s secret sauce is an in-house artificial intelligence algorithm that matches the content on their clients’ web sites with relevant videos. Clients paste STN’s code into a news article, and the algorithm chooses videos to accompany it — driving views and increasing the time visitors spend on the site.

    Revenue comes from advertising that’s shown before its sports videos begin to run.

    “Just in the U.S., we do about 450 million video views a month and we have over 25 million unique viewers in the U.S. alone with all of our publisher sites.”

    SendtoNews has overtaken sports juggernaut ESPN in one of Comscore’s online audience rankings and Watson has ambitions to beat ESPN in another category.

    According to Comscore’s latest available rankings, SendtoNews ranked No. 1 in April in unique viewers from desktops but didn’t beat ESPN in terms of unique multi-platform viewers (those who use desktop and mobile devices).

    Watson says that Comscore’s multi-platform category includes both apps for mobile devices, such as smartphones, and streaming videos to televisions, a market segment where ESPN is strong and STN doesn’t compete.

    Although STN has benefited this year from the Raptors’ post-season run to victory over the Golden State Warriors, in a typical year the National Football League often provides some of the most-watched content distributed by SendtoNews.

    Blake Stuchin, the NFL’s vice-president of digital media business, says the league has always distributed its content on the most wide-reaching platforms of the day.

    “Historically, that was just TV and radio. Over the years, it has expanded to a lot more places and a lot more choices.”

    That includes its own NFL.com website, the NFL app and third-party social media platforms such as Twitter and Snap.

    Stuchin says SendtoNews has the ability to provide its content to more than 200 different local newspaper websites in the United States and Canada.

    “We like that SendtoNews very carefully vets those publications,” he says.

    “The editorial (written content) is obviously independent but these are quality publications and we know they have high journalistic integrity. So it’s great to be able to supplement the written word with video highlights that fans can watch.”

    Stuchin added that none of the NFL’s other media partners connects with fans who follow their local teams through their favourite sports writers.

    “SendtoNews has been a good partner in identifying for us a clear area in the market that was underserved and is attractive for us to be able to reach. And what they do, they do very well.”

    STN’s original concept was to help newspapers adapt to the still-new digital age by providing easy access to video — originally for a fee.

    But in 2015, the year Watson joined the company as CEO, STN decided to move to a revenue-sharing model — essentially making it the organizer that lines up the content providers, publishers, and advertisers in return for a share of the dollars generated by consumer views.

    Watson says STN is profitable, without providing details. He declined to say how its investors are being rewarded but added there’s no plan to take the company public.

    “We’re in a comfortable place, financially. Our investors are patient because our performance and our growth is so good. So we don’t anticipate an IPO in the near future.”

    Watson says SendtoNews is “extremely ambitious” and has plans to push into Spanish-language content as well as non-sports markets, but he still prefers fans to know its publishers rather than itself, so you viewers won’t see SendtoNews logos or banners on the video clips any time soon.

    “I think that’s part of the key to our success,” Watson says. “We’d prefer to be recommended than recognized, if you know what I mean.”

    ———

    The Canadian Press is owned by a subsidiary of the Globe and Mail, Torstar and a subsidiary of Montreal’s La Presse.

     

  • David Davies posted an article
    SendtoNews nominated for Product of the Year and Technology Company of the Year see more

    SendtoNews nominated for Product of the Year and Technology Company of the Year

    SendtoNews (STN) has been selected as a double finalist in the 19th Annual VIATEC Awards for Technology Company of the Year and Product of the Year. The awards celebrate the achievements of technology companies responsible for making Greater Victoria the fastest growing technology region in BC, as well as the leaders, creators and innovators that have driven the local tech sector to $4.06 billion in annual sales and $5.22 billion in economic impact.

    SendtoNews was selected as a finalist for the Technology Company of the Year Award (11-29 employees) for the company’s continued growth. This past year has seen huge advancements in both SendtoNews’ technology and partnerships with the company overtaking ESPN to be the #1 sports video platform in the Comscore desktop rankings in the USA, extending partnerships with MLB, NFL and PGA Tour, and adding partnerships with Major League Soccer and NASCAR, and launching the company’s first live stream at THE PLAYERS Championship in coordination with the PGA TOUR and Tribune Publishing. 

    “It’s been a truly amazing year for SendtoNews thanks to the efforts of our staff and our partners,” said Matthew Watson, CEO of SendtoNews. “The innovative and driven Victoria tech community continues to create value for the province and beyond, and it’s an honor to be recognized once again for our team’s contribution.”

    SendtoNews was also selected as a finalist for Product of the Year for its innovative video distribution platform and AI-powered Smart Match video player technology (STN Smart Match). SendtoNews provides publishers with an incomparable three-sided platform that combines content, technology, and monetization at no cost, giving publishers the opportunity to take advantage of a growing video advertising market without needing to invest any resources. SendtoNews’ video platform has continually proven to increase engagement generating more impressions/views, longer time spent on page, more social shares, and more page views which in turn drives additional revenue for publishers.

    Winners will be announced at the Awards Gala on June 14th at the Royal Theatre. To learn more about SendtoNews’ video distribution platform, please visit www.sendtonews.com

  • SendtoNews posted an article
    SendtoNews Ranks No. 4th overall on the 2018 Growth 500, and first out of all media companies see more

    Canadian Business and  Maclean’s have ranked SendtoNews (STN) No.4 on the 30th annual Growth 500, the definitive ranking of Canada’s fastest-growing Companies.  SendtoNews increased revenue of 8,388% over the past 5 years.  Along with this, STN ranked 1st overall in the Marketing and Media category, repeating its success from 2017.

    “SendtoNews is thrilled to be listed among some of the top companies in the country on the Growth 500 for the second year in a row,” says Matthew Watson, CEO of SendtoNews. “This tremendous achievement is thanks to everyone at STN and shared with all of our publisher, sales and content partners as well. We wish to also thank Canadian Business and Maclean’s for this honour”, added Watson.

    SendtoNews 2017/18 achievements include a partnership with Rogers Media to distribute NHL and Sportsnet content across Canada, the widespread release of a new AI powered video player that has been proven to improve revenue and engagement for publishers, as well as ranking second overall for total videos viewed and unique viewers in the U.S. comScore rankings.

    “The companies on the 2018 Growth 500 are truly remarkable. Demonstrating foresight, innovation and smart management, their stories serve as a primer for how to build a successful entrepreneurial business today,” says Deborah Aarts, Growth 500 program manager. “As we celebrate 30 years of the Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies program, it’s encouraging to see that entrepreneurship is healthier than ever in this country.” 

    Produced by Canada’s premier business and current affairs media brands, the Growth 500 ranks Canadian businesses on five-year revenue growth. Growth 500 winners, including SendtoNews, are now profiled in a special print issue of Canadian Business published with Maclean’s magazine and online at CanadianBusiness.com and Growth500.ca.
     

    About the Growth 500 

    For 30 years, the Growth 500 ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies has been Canada’s most respected and influential ranking of entrepreneurial achievement. Developed by PROFIT and now published in a special Growth 500 print issue of Canadian Business (packaged with the October issue of Maclean’s magazine) and online at Growth500.ca and CanadianBusiness.com, the Growth 500 ranks Canadian companies on five-year revenue growth. For more information on the ranking, visit Growth500.ca. 
     

    About SendtoNews

    SendtoNews is North America’s leading sports video and advertising platform. The company has created an expanding publisher network that now includes more than 1500 sports news properties across North America.

    SendtoNews currently generates over 150 million monthly video views through the distribution of exclusive and semi-exclusive content from 75+ sports leagues, including top tier organizations such as the MLB, NBA, NHL, NFL, PGA TOUR, NCAA and Premier League Soccer.

    SendtoNews has offices in New York, San Francisco, Toronto, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Victoria, British Columbia, and ranks 2nd on comScore for Unique Viewers and Total Videos Viewed in digital sports video.

    For brand advertising inquiries, email advertisers@sendtonews.com. For content distribution inquiries, please email publishers@sendtonews.com. For more details, visit SendtoNews.com or call toll free 855.590.1991.

    Media Contact:

    David Davies

    SendtoNews

    855-590-1991

    david.davies@sendtonews.com

  • SendtoNews posted an article
    STN surpasses ESPN to rank first overall in Unique Viewers and Total Video Views in August 2018 see more

    SendtoNews (STN) is now the top digital video platform in all of sports. The release of August’s U.S. comScore rankings has the digital sports platform listed as #1 in unique viewers and total video views for the first time in SendtoNews’ history.  With 9,790,000 unique viewers and 178,616,000 video views, STN ranks above outlets like ESPN, CBS Sports, Yahoo and Fox. 

    “The work SendtoNews does to help us reach the local fan is unparalleled,” says Home Team Sports EVP Craig Sloan.  “We are ecstatic that their hard work and dedication has allowed them to reach the pinnacle of digital sports video, driven by the insatiable appetite of fans for high-quality content about their beloved teams." 

    STN’s 178,616,000 monthly video views represents a record high for the company.  Part of this success is attributable to the widespread integration of STN Smart Match: an AI powered video player that reads a publisher’s article and instantly populates it with the most relevant video in the STN library.  Recently, the player was subject of a case study done with the New York Daily News.  Year over year results saw time on sports page, unique sports page viewers and total sports page viewers increase substantially for the award winning publisher. 

    “We are thrilled to be validated as the number one property in digital sports video. Our team has steadily built an unmatched three-sided platform for publishers, leagues and advertisers that was hard to do and even harder to replicate” says SendtoNews CEO Matthew Watson. “Many of the other entities on the comScore ranking are content, sales or publishing partners of ours and we share this achievement with them.  We help them reach and engage new fans, and that is the mission that fuels our efforts and success.” 

    SendtoNews also ranks first overall in unique viewers and total videos viewed in several key demographics including Hispanic audience, adult females and persons 25-54. Along with this, out of the top 100 digital video providers in all content categories, STN ranks 29th overall in unique viewers and 23rd in total video views. 

    About SendtoNews 

    SendtoNews is North America’s leading sports video and advertising platform. The company has created an expanding publisher network that now includes more than 1500 sports news properties across North America. 

    SendtoNews currently generates over 150 million monthly video views through the distribution of exclusive and semi-exclusive content from 75+ sports leagues, including top tier organizations such as the MLB, NBA, NHL, NFL, PGA TOUR, NCAA and Premier League Soccer. 

    SendtoNews' sports video content is both VAST and VPAID compliant and the architecture of its video player technologies, as well as its independent analytics partnerships, address market needs for transparency around viewability and invalid traffic. 

    For brand advertising inquiries, email advertisers@sendtonews.com. For content distribution inquiries, please email publishers@sendtonews.com. For more details, visit www.SendtoNews.com or call toll free 855.590.1991. 

    Media Contact:

    David Davies

    SendtoNews

    david.davies@sendtonews.com

  • David Davies posted an article
    “We’re completely brand safe,” said SendtoNews CEO Matthew Watson. see more

    Publishers like Facebook and YouTube often cause consternation for advertisers over brand safety—while advertisers may wish to control the content surrounding their ad placements, they often do not know exactly what content an ad will be juxtaposed against.

    Content delivery and advertising company SendtoNews promises to change that state of affairs with its service. “We’re completely brand safe,” said CEO Matthew Watson.

    SendtoNews delivers video sports content from leagues like the PGA, MLB, NBA, and NFL. It provides those videos to local sports sites, while at the same time placing ads beside the video content. The company is ranked second in sports video views, averaging about 150 million impressions a month and about 600,000 unique views, behind ESPN.

    “Our advertiser’s KPIs are fantastic… We’re 70%-plus viewability (and) 70-plus percent video completion rate,” Watson said, adding that his company “can give advertisers the scale they want, where they want.”

    STN guarantees local fan engagement through its partnerships with local newspapers for sports content, Watson said. “If you’re in Denver and you’re going to the Denver Post and you’re looking up the Denver Broncos team, you know you’re an engaged local fan,” he said.

    Watson says his company’s advertising service is as easy to use as Facebook. STN can team up with local publishers to help advertisers take over a sports page by surrounding a video with brand marketing.

    For example, the Minnesota Star Tribune sells a package that gives advertisers pre-roll content and an overlay companion ad against Minnesota sports teams, while at the same time, STN provides the video content for the Tribune.

    Primarily national advertisers use STN’s service.

    “We often get big national advertisers that might be chains or car dealers,” in large part because of brand safety and the increased engagement guaranteed by local fans on a sports site to view their local sports team, Watson said.

    “That passion and level of engagement enhances the halo effect for the advertiser, who is associating themselves with that local publisher and content,” he said.

    Watson plans to grow his company further in the realm of sports. STN is beginning to look at expanding into other types of content. “We will be launching into a new content vertical in the near future,” he said. “It will likely be the business and tech vertical … (which is) also a brand-safe environment.”

    Anna Kramer is a staff writer at  Street Fight.

  • SendtoNews posted an article
    SendtoNews Achieves Record Sports Viewership in June see more

    SendtoNews (STN) continues its tremendous growth as they achieved a new high in total videos viewed in U.S. digital sports video on June’s comScore rankings. The digital sports platform that delivers official highlights from content partners like MLB, NFL, NBA, PGA Tour and 75 others saw a record 171,693,000 video views in June, placing them 2nd only to ESPN. 

    “The independent validation of our growth by comScore is a great measure of all the hard work we do to help our digital publishing partners thrive.” says SendtoNews CEO Matthew Watson.  “We are thrilled not only to help our publishing partners deliver the best user experience in sports news coverage, but extend the reach of the leagues we work with to new and engaged fans.” 

    SendtoNews’ increase comes in part due to their latest integration of artificial intelligence in their video player dubbed STN Smart Match.  Smart Match intelligently reads a publisher's page and instantly selects and embeds the most relevant video from the STN library based on the article content.  Dozens of top publishers are using STN Smart Match including the New York Daily News, McClatchy and LA Times. Several partners are now seeing a 10x increase in impressions and revenue after implementation. 

    Along with these rankings, SendtoNews ranked 2nd overall in unique viewers with 9,143,000, marking the fourth month in a row STN has held the spot in digital sports video. 

     

    About SendtoNews

    SendtoNews is North America’s leading sports video and advertising platform. The company has created an expanding publisher network that now includes more than 1500 sports news properties across North America.
     
    SendtoNews currently generates over 150 million monthly video views through the distribution of exclusive and semi-exclusive content from 75+ sports leagues, including top tier organizations such as the MLB, NBA, NHL, NFL, PGA TOUR, NCAA and Premier League Soccer.
     
    SendtoNews' sports video content is both VAST and VPAID compliant and the architecture of its video player technologies, as well as its independent analytics partnerships, address market needs for transparency around viewability and invalid traffic. 

    For brand advertising inquiries, email advertisers@sendtonews.com. For content distribution inquiries, please email publishers@sendtonews.com.

    For more details, visit www.SendtoNews.com or call toll free 855.590.1991.

    Media Contact:
    David Davies

    SendtoNews
    855-590-1991
    david.davies@sendtonews.com

     

     

     

  • SendtoNews posted an article
    More than half of SendtoNews’ total World Cup engagement has come from videos for the Mexican team see more

    Source: AdExchanger by James Hercher 

    The 2018 World Cup has featured an exciting range of upsets and contenders, but some World Cup marketers see early signs of trouble thanks to GDPR throwing a wrench into digital advertising and the absence of the US team.

    GDPR, which became law less than a month before the soccer tournament, is especially painful for World Cup sponsors because the law applies to European citizens abroad, so targeting French nationals in the United States or British fans in Australia is hazardous.

    The World Cup is the first major test for brands running global campaigns and targeting EU audiences at scale around the world, said Jeff Greenfield, co-founder and COO of the attribution company C3 Metrics.

    Major World Cup advertisers have their budgets in place months or a year ahead of time, but much of the data brands would normally apply is ineffective because publishers haven’t had time to update for GDPR or gather consent for targeting, said Matthew Watson, CEO of the sports video and advertising company SendtoNews.

    “GDPR probably doesn’t affect the spend committed ahead of time by World Cup advertisers, but it has impacted implementation,” Watson said.

    That’s good news for the walled gardens. US and Europeans brands in particular are spending more with platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter that can accommodate targeting and less on mass-market, multichannel video campaigns, said George Pappachen, president of the digital media information provider BIScience.

    But you can’t blame GDPR for everything, Pappachen said. Former World Cup sponsors like Johnson & Johnson and Castrol, a British motor oil company, dropped out following recent FIFA corruption scandals, and EU and US companies haven’t filled the vacuum in part because they don’t want the association with host nation Russia.

    Fewer marketing dollars are at stake, though, with overall sponsorships for this World Cup down almost $200 million from the previous four-year cycle, according to Nielsen.

    The US effect

    The US team was never expected to contend for the World Cup title, but the team’s first absence from the tournament in more than 30 years does undercut consumer marketing potential.

    World Cup brands are still running ads in the US but are targeting them to known fans on sport sites or social platforms instead of using broad campaigns meant to pick up new or casual fans, as was the case during the last World Cup in 2014, Pappachen said.

    More than half of SendtoNews’ total World Cup engagement has come from videos for the Mexican team as English-speaking US audiences lose their zeal without the US in the field, Watson said.

    Bleacher Report has also seen a big upswing of interest in reaching Latin American or Spanish-speaking audiences in the US, said CRO Howard Mittman.

    Ten years ago, “it would have been a death sentence for the World Cup to lose the US team and market,” Mittman said, but now social and mobile channels can reach fans despite the US team’s absence on TV.

    Fox Sports, which in 2011 paid $400 million for US broadcast rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, is keenly aware of the issue. The first marketing partner Fox added after the US team was eliminated was the genetics company 23andMe, running a campaign called “Root for your roots,” encouraging fans to find a team from their heritage to support.

    Fox Sports did not respond to a request for comment.

    But just as Chinese brands like Wanda Group and Mengniu seized an opportunity to sponsor the World Cup after Western brands exited, the US team’s failure to qualify opened the door for latent players in the market.

    The big winner in this World Cup, for instance, could be Telemundo, the official North American Spanish-language broadcaster.

    The American team’s absence means the World Cup has more Spanish-speaking nations, and the NBC-owned network isn’t hamstrung by GDPR because it broadcasts in North America and targets more Central and South Americans instead of Europeans, said Laura Molen, EVP of NBCUniversal’s lifestyle and Hispanic ad sales group.

    “We’d have loved to have the US in the World Cup,” Molen said, “but for Telemundo we’re lucky to avoid some of those other headaches” like GDPR or brand disinterest without the US team.