The M’sian Media Industry Has Had 2k+ Layoffs Since 2018, This Site Wants To Solve That Crisis

Author’s Blurb: I’ve always known that my professional future would most likely be concerned with the creative writing industry one way or another. I was lucky enough to snag this job, especially after seeing the major retrenchments that went on in late 2019 within Malaysia’s traditional publishing industry.

There hasn’t been much research done on why
the traditional media industry appears to be in decline, but one thing’s for
sure: journalists and writers will have to foray into the digital sphere sooner
or later.

One platform that’s helping them do that is MOPress, which was designed to ease the digital publishing process from creating to publishing content.

Sean Teoh, its CEO and founder, told Vulcan
Post that content creators struggle to remain relevant in the market, since consumer
attitudes are ever-changing, and maintaining a traditional media platform runs
high costs.

“The unfortunate truth is that some within
the industry are still not participating or upgrading to match or compete with
the new age of creators,” he commented.

This has led to retrenchments in the
industry, which he added do not bode well for the future of Malaysian
publishing.

His experience comes from having co-founded
and built a Chinese language news portal called TanTanNews in 2012 which later was
acquired by Media Prima Berhad in early 2019.

“That’s why at MOPress, we are working to
combine the modern creator style with digital publishers to enhance the overall
publishing industry,” Sean said.

An AI Powered Matchmaker

Sean believes that MOPress can help
publishers save operation costs while getting quality content on-demand from
the creators through their marketplace, which has over 3,000 content creators
to date.

What MOPress essentially does is allow publishers to discover and engage a wide range of creators covering various topics.

It’s similar to a freelancing platform, where content creators can work remotely to accomplish missions by publishers without being tied to them, thus alleviating the publishers from several overhead costs.

What a publisher’s dashboard would look like / Image Credit: MOPress

The platform has an AI matching algorithm
that curates and harvests relevant data from its partners’ sites and social
media to find trending keywords and stories.

This information helps them match the content creator to meet the specific requirements of publishers, which improves relevance and ensures better quality content.

He gave the example of how his other company, TanTanNews had launched up-to-date coverage on Malaysia’s COVID-19 situation with the help of MOPress’ network.

“We were able to get full coverage and
timely updates during the COVID-19 issue when it was first announced by
leveraging the network of content creators who covered the evolving stories in
real-time.”

“Not to mention, TanTanNews was able to
reduce their overhead cost and grow to 7 million pageviews in a month,” he
added.

Experienced Journalists Aren’t The Only
Writers Around

MOPress’ network of writers isn’t just
limited to established journalists—it can include people who simply aspire to
write too.

But then how do they vet the legitimacy of
their writers for quality control? How do they verify that a writer has the right
background and knowledge to execute a draft according to a publisher’s specific
needs?

Sean replied that they do it by gamifying the
whole experience. “There are a few tiers that you will need to climb to become
professionals. It starts from being a newbie and progresses to silver, gold,
platinum, and professional if you are a certified journalist, lawyer, doctor,
etc.”

“With your certification, you can actually
apply to jump from newbie to professional status. The higher your rank, the
higher the fee for your content costs.”

An example of a content creator’s dashboard / Image Credit: MOPress

On the other hand, publishers are vetted
through an application to MOPress before they can join the platform as a media
site or corporation.

MOPress takes a commission from each piece
of content purchased through its platform on a variable scale, but Sean declined
to give a range, simply saying that the higher the quality and ranking of a
creator, the lower the commission they take.

At the moment, the only content categories
available on the platform are tech and F&B, but Sean shared that they’re
doing R&D to ensure they cover every category across all industries.

“These categories can be seen in the near
future as we officially launch our second batch of publishers in Q2 of 2020.”

Bottom Line: Personally, I don’t see a platform like MOPress working out for Vulcan Post, as we have a rather strong (and niche) brand image that we train our writers to stick to as part of quality control. Therefore, I believe that MOPress is suited for much larger media publications that produce a big output of diverse content on the daily.

  • You can read about other Malaysian startups here.

Featured Image Credit: MOPress

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