SmartNews Offers Innovative News-Discovery App to Help Users Cut Through the Clutter


Now Available in the United States for iOS and Android Users

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, October 1, 2014 – SmartNews, the free, award-winning news-discovery app, today announced the release of its long-anticipated U.S. edition for Apple and Android mobile devices. SmartNews is building on its success in Japan, where it is helping five million users discover interesting, important, and popular stories. Much like the Japanese edition, the app promises to bring speed, utility and serendipity to finding news for users in the United States.

SmartNews makes it fast and easy to discover interesting stories by ranking and displaying news in colorful, easy-to-use topic channels. The Japanese edition of SmartNews has earned rave reviews from users, as well as industry-wide recognition, including a “Google Play App of the Year” award and an Apple “App Store Best of” in news in 2013.

How People Use SmartNews

· Unlike many other newsreader and aggregation apps, SmartNews uses proprietary algorithms and real-time analysis of millions of web pages to identify top stories. It isn’t an endless stream of news, but rather the stories that are hot right now.

· SmartNews provides a level of serendipity by identifying and surfacing stories that large numbers of people are finding interesting. Users get news they like, not just news they think they want.

· No Internet connection? No problem. Using SmartNews’s SmartView feature, users get an easy-to-read version, formatted specifically for mobile devices, that delivers content instantly – even on subways, trains and other places with poor or no connectivity.

SmartNews is also remarkably friendly to publishers and other content providers. A user’s first click always goes to the publisher’s own mobile site, and advertising revenue from SmartView goes directly to the publisher, not to SmartNews. Building on its success in establishing relationships in Japan, the company is teaming up with leading U.S. publishers, including NBC News, The Los Angeles Times, The Associated Press, CNET, The Verge, The Huffington Post, Quartz, SB Nation, Re/Code, Mashable, The Atlantic, Vox.com, Bleacher Report, TechCrunch, Engadget, and Pro Publica, among others.

“SmartNews has a user-friendly app and a publisher-friendly business model. After much success working together in Japan, AOL is pleased to extend our partnership with SmartNews to the U.S., where audiences will discover the great content from our brands such as The Huffington Post and Engadget,” said Kim Kadlec, Head of Strategic Partnerships at AOL.

“At Vox, we don’t want to tell readers what just happened, or how we feel about what just happened, we want to make sure they understand what just happened,” said Melissa Bell, Executive Editor of Vox.com. “To do that, we need to deliver the information a reader needs at the moment they need it. SmartNews is a great opportunity to experiment with a new delivery mechanism and, in partnership with them, we hope to reach a new audience that is seeking out the context behind major news stories.”

How Publishers Use SmartNews

· Publishers can place ads on SmartView, keeping 100 percent of the revenue and increasing mobile readership

· SmartNews’s Channel Plus allows users to customize the app by adding tabs featuring content specifically from their favorite sources

“SmartNews’s goal is to help publishers gain a larger audience and additional revenue from mobile,” said Rich Jaroslovsky, Vice President for Content at SmartNews, who was the first Managing Editor of The Wall Street Journal’s Web operations and founded the Online News Association. “In Japan, respected names like Asahi and Yomiuri are seeing the benefits of partnering with SmartNews. In the U.S., we can be a key ally for publishers as they navigate the shift of consumers from desktop to mobile.”

To help with its U.S. expansion, SmartNews recently raised $36 million in Series B funding, with significant investments from international technology venture-capital firm Atomico and global mobile-social company GREE.

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About SmartNews

With offices in Tokyo, San Francisco and New York, SmartNews is dedicated to delivering the world’s quality information to the people who need it. The Japanese edition, launched in December 2012 by company co-
founders Kaisei Hamamoto and Ken Suzuki, has gained five million users so far, with engagement metrics that are the envy of the industry: Three-quarters of those who’ve downloaded the free app use it every month, and more than 30 percent use it every day. SmartNews is available in the App Store for iPhones and iPads, and through Google Play for Android devices.

For more information, please visit https://www.smartnews.com/