Arc in the Press

Read what others have written about the Arc Publishing platform.

Matthew Monahan, director of Arc Publishing at WashPo, on speed and innovation in the newsroom

"The move to provide Arc as a commercial offering came later. At some point a few years ago, we realised that we’d built all the pieces of a digital CMS, and that other publishers observed the same weaknesses with other commercially-available CMSs that we had. Bit by bit, we grew the business of Arc, and it’s become a lucrative revenue stream for The Post. But it’s also true that as a hosted SaaS platform, there are benefits to scale. The bigger the platform gets, the more useful feedback we get from our customers and the better the platform becomes. Beyond that, the whole Arc team is excited by the mission of helping publishers around the world succeed in the digital space and unlock their latent potential."

Read more at fipp.com

The World's 50 Most Innovative Companies 2018: #8, The Washington Post



"In September 2017, the Wash­ing­ton Post revealed that it had signed up more than 1 mill­ion digital-only sub­scribers, up 300% in just a year. But there’s more to the company’s current boom than intrepid journalism: The 140-year-old paper, owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos since 2013, func­tions as a software company as well, with proprietary code pow­ering its app’s augmented-reality storytelling features and moderating comments. The Post also sells its robust in-house publishing platform, Arc, as a service (which the Los Angeles Times and the New Zealand Herald started using in 2017). “If it works here, most likely it’s going to work for other large newsrooms,” says CTO Scot Gillespie."

Read more at fastcompany.com

Here’s how Arc’s cautious quest to become the go-to publishing system for news organizations is going

"Arc, The Washington Post’s publishing software, continues its slow march towards becoming the go-to content management system for news organizations, from modest alt-weeklies to multi-paper chains. This week, the Philadelphia Media Network announced that it would be moving to Arc for all of Philly.com’s publishing needs, working directly with the Post team to test new Arc tools and features throughout the year-long transition process."

Read more at niemanlab.org

Lenfest is helping to bring The Washington Post's content management system to Philly (and beyond)



"The Lenfest Institute for Journalism announced Tuesday that it’s part of a new partnership with The Washington Post. That partnership will bring Arc Publishing, the Post’s content management system for newsrooms, to the Philadelphia Media Network. PMN includes Philly.com, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Daily News."

Read more at poynter.org

The Washington Post Is A Software Company Now

“Usually, it’s really hard for engineers to understand what a news outlet needs or what journalists need,” says Daniel Haddad, founder and publisher of Infobae, an Argentine news site, which, thanks to a global Spanish-speaking readership, sometimes exceeds a billion page views in a single month. “What we like about Arc is they come with a background from the Washington Post so they knew exactly what to do.” Announced as an Arc customer in June 2016, Infobae was the first large-scale site other than the Post itself to move to the platform; Hadad says that it would likely be cheaper for the company to host its own sites, but that Arc is “a perfect match.” In the first year after the switch, the site’s unique users grew by 110% and its page views by 254%.

Read more at fastcompany.com

Fred Ryan and The Washington Post Are Reshaping the Future of the News



"The system worked so well for the company, it created a separate entity called Arc to make the product available to other news organizations, including Tronc, the New York Daily News, The Globe and Mail in Toronto and others. “It’s been great in terms of bringing in additional revenue,” Ryan says. “It’s been great in terms of helping us to recruit outstanding engineers to be part of something that is empowering not just The Washington Post, but others in the media business.”

Read more at adweek.com

'RED' alert: The Washington Post's surprising ad-tech skunkworks

By developing its own ad tech tools, the Post has drastically reduced its reliance on third-party vendors, slashing slow load times on the site. In December of last year, the Post reported itself to be profitable for the first time since Bezos bought the paper in 2013. Today the Post boasts 80 million to 100 million monthly unique views, in part due to the efficiencies RED has introduced, Dicker says.

Read more at adage.com

How thinking like a tech company has transformed innovation at The Washington Post

""We now also have a Software as a Service model where the Washington Post is no longer solely reliant on advertising or subscriptions. We are actually becoming the technology vendor for other publications.” And that not only helps them diversify revenue, but has created an internal culture of innovation, which should help drive long-term success."

Read more at digitalcontentnext.org

At 'Washington Post,' Tech Is Increasingly Boosting Financial Performance

"Pretty much every tool that the newsroom uses, or the sales team uses, has been built in-house," Prakash says. It nearly doubled its IT division to 250 people, Prakash says, recruiting high-quality talent by selling them on a startup-like environment and a creative mission to save journalism. Creating its own technology, in turn, gave the Post more control over things like load speeds and reliability, as well as deep visibility into its users — which stories they read, how far they scrolled, which headlines drew more traffic, and whether each reader has a preference for videos or photo presentations. That information could be fed back to the newsroom in real time, enabling them to, for example, beta-test headlines and optimize photos suited to different models of phones.

Read more at npr.org

How The Washington Post Created One of the Most Inclusive Engineering Teams in D.C.



"The Washington Post is known for a lot of things: Its Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting, its financial comeback after Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos bought the company, and its continued outreach and programming in the local D.C. area.

In D.C., you can add one more item to that list: Having one of the most inclusive engineering teams in D.C. tech. Looking at the engineering and tech teams at the national brand is impressive: It's filled with women, and not many tech teams can boast that."

Read more at dcinno.com

Washington Post Licenses Publishing Technology to Tronc

"Tronc said it will use the Arc technology to help power its entire portfolio of digital properties, beginning with the Los Angeles Times. Tronc’s other publications include the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and Orlando Sentinel.
...
AWS has allowed developers of all sizes to access cloud computing services, and the Post wants to do the same for publishers with its Arc division. The entire Arc platform is hosted by AWS, and publishers pay based on the amount of traffic flowing to their properties once they’re up and running."

Read more at wsj.com

Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Media for 2017, #2: The Washington Post



"Traffic-wise, the Post has been consistently eclipsing records—in November 2016, it exceeded 100 million unique online visitors. The company has also been investing in technology to bolster its reportage. It launched a variety of new software to get its content into the world, including an in-house testing product, new ad offerings, and tools to help reporters and editors act faster around breaking news."

Read more at fastcompany.com

The Washington Post Is Marketing Itself to Brands as a Testing Ground for Video Ads

"One year ago, the Washington Post decided it was done working with third-party ad-tech partners and instead started building its own slick tools and ad formats to tackle industry problems like speed, fraud and viewability. So, it started an internal group called Research, Experimentation and Development (or RED) that now includes a team of 10 to 15 engineers and product employees who are laser-focused on making ads faster and better for both marketers and other publishers like Toronto's The Globe and Mail who license The Washington Post's ad technology."

Read more at adweek.com

Revolution at The Washington Post



"Is it an underhanded compliment to be called the most innovative company in the newspaper business?

The Washington Post will happily take it. In the three years since Amazon’s Jeff Bezos bought the Post for $250 million—now seen as a steal for one of the great brands in publishing—the Post has reinvented itself with digital speed. Its Web traffic has doubled since Bezos arrived, and it far outstrips The New York Times (and even BuzzFeed) in the number of online posts its reporters file every day. So successful has the Post become in the digital game that it now licenses its content management system to other news outlets, a business that could generate $100 million a year."

Read more at cjr.org

Digital Publishing: How the Washington Post is Pushing its Ad Technology Business

"The investment in the product side of the organization has led to a wellspring of innovation for a company that still earns the lion’s share of its revenue selling printed newspapers. Bandito is a home-grown tool that lets editors publish articles with as many as five different headlines and photos to figure out which is the most engaging to readers. WebSked is a newsroom planning tool that makes it easier and faster to plan and coordinate coverage."

Read more at editorandpublisher.com

Inside The Washington Post’s Quest to Fix Ad Tech

"Improvements in code cut page load time by almost 85 percent. In total, 18 products can be licensed via the Post’s proprietary technology, Arc Publishing. Arguably the most surprising investment has been in ad tech, where Jarrod Dicker has led the company’s ad product team, called RED, since August 2015. Previously the head of commercial product at RebelMouse, and head of product at Time Inc. before that, Dicker is a veteran of the revenue side of media. He thinks a change in the way publishers approach advertising technology is long overdue."

Read more at contently.com

The Washington Post Takes Matters Into Its Own Hands, Creates Newsletter Platform

"Paloma has three components, Mr. Prakash said: It makes it easier to import and embed multimedia content from social platforms like Instagram; it employs a package of spam-detection technologies and tests to ensure that newsletters aren't getting caught in filters, a persistent issue in the industry; and it uses Amazon's Simple Email Service platform to actually build and deliver the product, once assembled."

Read more at adage.com

Good News at The Washington Post: Inside the paper Jeff Bezos bought & Donald Trump banned.

"About a dozen publishers have signed on, including the Toronto Globe and Mail, Alaska Dispatch News, Willamette Week, and Santa Fe Reporter, but the Post believes it can eventually generate $100 million a year from the business. This spring, it launched software that solves certain problems for digital advertisers: One rapidly reduces load times for mobile display ads; another reformats video ads for vertical cell-phone screens. The goal, again, is to sell to other media companies."

Read more at nymag.com

Washington Post Looks to Publishing Platform as Growing Revenue Stream

"“Everything that we offer to our clients we are building for ourselves,” Mr. Prakash said. The software is hosted on the Post’s network and the customer pays according to the amount of data used to build pages, manage paywalls, test headlines, and post to outside platforms like Facebook and Twitter, as well as collect and analyze user information. “We have a taken a page out of Amazon’s playbook. It is completely hosted. We run it, we administer it and we get paid consistently every month,” he said. “The great thing is if a site grows and gets more traffic, we get paid more.”"

Read more at wsj.com

The Washington Post destacó el acuerdo tecnológico con Infobae

"'La transformación del periodismo digital es impulsada por la tecnología de vanguardia, y Arc proporciona a los medios modernos una fuerte, ágil y flexible infraestructura que promueve la innovación rápida y la experimentación de cosas que son críticas para el éxito a largo plazo'", dijo Shailesh Prakash, Jefe de Tecnología en The Washington Post. 'Con Infobae, damos la bienvenida a un sitio digital moderno que comparte nuestro compromiso con la velocidad digital. Esperamos que Arc motorice sus ambiciones y acelere su crecimiento'.

Read more at infobae.com

5 things publishers can learn from how Jeff Bezos is running The Washington Post

"Technology is used internally in the service of continuing to build the digital audience. Bandito allows editors to publish articles with up to five different headlines, photos and story treatments, with an algorithm deciding which one readers find the most engaging. Loxodo includes tools that allow Prakash to track what he and Bezos call “lead measures” — how readers perceive the quality of Post journalism compared to that offered by other news organizations, as well as the speed, quality and quantity of mobile alerts."

Read more at niemanlab.org

Can news publishers take on the tech giants at their own game?



"Prakash is hoping that the licensing of Arc is just the beginning. If it were up to him, he’d make available to other news organizations a range of tools the Post has developed, including its apps. Obviously a Post app would have to be customized and rebranded before it could be used by, say, The Berkshire Eagle. And given the precarious state of the newspaper business, licensing or selling technology to other newspapers is not going to create a financial bonanza for the Post. But it would provide a stream of revenue while at the same time creating a media ecosystem built around the Post’s technology."

Read more at shorensteincenter.org

The Globe and Mail becomes largest North American media outlet to use The Washington Post’s Technology Platform

"Today, The Globe and Mail announces that they will become the largest North American media outlet to adopt The Washington Post’s Arc Publishing technology, with efforts to transition The Globe to the new platform starting immediately. Designed and built by The Washington Post, Arc Publishing is a flexible technology platform specifically built for digital storytelling that handles stories, rich media, apps, video and personalization, optimizing them for deployment to different channels – including desktop, large or small tablets, mobile phones and distributed social platforms."

Read more at theglobeandmail.com

Washington Post Pushes Into Ad Tech With New High-Speed Ad Product

"You’ve heard of Facebook Instant Articles. Think of this as Washington Post instant advertising. The newspaper publisher, owned by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, is rolling out a new ad product aimed at speeding up the response time for Web ads, particularly on mobile devices. It’s intended, in part, to help win over consumers who turned to ad blockers after being burned by lousy digital ad experiences.

The new “Fuse” ads are designed to render instantly when clicked on, without requiring people to leave the Washington Post’s desktop site, mobile site or app. Like many Web ads, the Fuse units are placed within content, such as in between paragraphs of an article. But when people click or tap these ads, they render across the majority of a person’s screen and allow for further interaction without sending users to another site or app."

Read more at wsj.com

Welcome to the new adn.com

"Bigger changes are happening under the hood. Starting this week, we're using the Arc suite of publishing tools developed by The Washington Post. They're the same tools that power the Post online. We're the first regional news site to adopt them. (Willamette Week, the alt-weekly in Portland, has been using Arc for a while.) Look for faster load times and better performance. The tools give us much more flexibility to customize pages, update stories quickly and create different presentations for readers. As we ease into these tools, we'll have even more dynamic stories for you."

Read more at adn.com

By dealing with Amazon and non-news organizations, can The Washington Post ‘blow the top off’ the CMS industry?

"Enter Arc. The Post's pitch to news organizations is a simple one: Let us provide the tools for everything you do — building pages, setting up paywalls, scheduling stories, testing headlines, managing newsletters — and in return, pay us a fee based on how much data you use. The Post offers Arc through a tiered pricing model..."

Read more at poynter.org

Can a Bezos buddy act help fend off Gannett’s bid for Tribune?

"That Arc platform aims to provide the Post, and its growing licensees, a platform to power the modern business. That means individual modules that drive video, mobile, social, user testing, app creation and analytics, among other abilities. Those who have seen it like what they see, how it’s architected for integration and growth, even as they realize parts of it require fuller build-out. Arc takes a cloud-based approach, hosted on Amazon Web Services — yet another leverage of that other little company in which Post owner Jeff Bezos is involved."

Read more at niemanlab.org

Can news publishers take on the tech giants at their own game?

"'At first we were just building solutions to problems we had with existing systems. Then these things started to come together and we developed this vision that this could be a true platform. We gave it away for free to university newspapers like the Columbia Spectator to test our idea and begin getting feedback from users.'

Not surprisingly, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos also owns the Washington Post. Arc or elements of it started at WaPo well before Bezos got there. In fact, tech teams within media orgs have tried to spin out their publishing tools since CMS became an acronym. But having the backing of the most successful person to pursue the model will be a real advantage for them."

Read more at theguardian.com

Media Companies Focus on Marketing Their Publishing Platforms to Others

"The Post has announced five such clients so far and says it has signed about that many more that it hasn't announced. In October, the Post said Willamette Week had become the company's first licensing client for Arc. There is no upfront cost to license Arc, with licensees paying based on their traffic, storage, and professional service needs, Mr. Prakash said.

Read more at adage.com

How The Washington Post built its tool to “re-engage” the attention of distracted readers on mobile

"Its new Re-Engage feature, currently for mobile web, observes how long a reader remains completely idle on a story page or how quickly a reader begins swiping the screen to scroll to the bottom of a story, and then offers a small pop-up suggesting other Post stories. So if a lede doesn’t pique my interest and I leave my phone screen for a while, the Re-Engage feature emerges on my screen offering a couple of other story suggestions from the same section.

“It made sense to me, as a consumer of content, to have this feature,” Jarrod Dicker, the Post’s director of ad product and engineering, told me."

Read more at niemanlab.org

Washington Post’s ‘Bandito’ Tool Optimizes Content For Clicks

"The Washington Post is experimenting with technology to automatically optimize articles on its website for maximum readership. A new internally-developed tool, dubbed “Bandito,” allows editors to enter different article versions with varying headlines, images and teaser text into its content management system. The technology then detects which version readers are clicking or tapping on more, and automatically serves that version more frequently on the homepage and other areas of the Post’s site. Publishers frequently use so-called A/B tests to compare different versions of articles and to establish which headlines and images appeal to readers, but the Post’s tool is particularly interesting because it automatically implements changes based on the information it collects."

Read more at wsj.com

Bezos transforms Washington Post in digital age

"Doctor said a big part of that strategy is creating a technology "platform" -- one that not only performs fast but delivers analytics on how readers are interacting with the website and apps, and also integrates with marketing to deliver targeted advertising and other messages.

The Post platform dubbed "Arc" made its debut in August, and is also being offered to other newspapers to improve their performance and analytics -- a move that could according to Doctor help the Washington daily collect useful reader data. "That's the roadmap -- to learn rapidly about news readers in the same way that Amazon has learned about buyers of goods," Doctor said. Bezos upgraded the Post technology team which he said rivals "any team in Silicon Valley.""

Read more at yahoo.com

The Washington Post Continues to Debut New Ad Products

"Today, the Red team released its second new product in three months. Called "PostPulse," the new ad unit leans on a tool called Clavis that helps determine what kind of stories readers seem to enjoy, based on their history.

PostPulse ad units will incorporate both a brand's media -- it could be branded content -- and a carousel that will recommend a few Post articles for readers, based on the data. The right-rail Pulse unit will "follow" readers from page to page if they take the plunge and click on a recommended link.

Comparing PostPulse to past ad products he's worked on, Mr. Dicker said: "What I really like about this one is that the advertiser is really starting to become the recommendation engine for a particular user.""

Read more at adage.com

Can news publishers take on the tech giants at their own game?

"Just this week, Portland’s Pulitzer-winning Willamette Week became Arc’s first launched customer. The weekly pulled the Arc switch with the usual trepidation — but few of the normal tears, it says — and transformed the look and speed of its web and mobile products. In total, it took but two and a half months from the start of talks with the Post to the launch. Willamette Week’s newsroom has seen a much needed change in its workflows.

'To upload images, we’ve gone from three steps to one,' says Lizzy Acker, Willamette Week’s web editor..."

Read more at niemanlab.org