News Corp Buys Social News Agency Storyful for $25M

Site finds newsworthy videos amid online noise

News Corp has purchased Ireland’s Storyful, which calls itself the first social news agency, for $25 million.

Storyful specializes in verifying real news amidst the noise of social media. The start-up finds, authenticates, acquires and distributes timely and relevant video and user-generated content to its partners, including news and advertising agencies.

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The company will operate as a stand-alone business unit within News Corp and continue to work with customers including The Wall Street Journal.

“Storyful has become the village square for valuable video, using journalistic sensibility, integrity and creativity to find, authenticate and commercialise user-generated content,” said Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp. “Through this acquisition, we can extend the village square across borders, languages and platforms.”

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The acquisition is part of News Corp’s efforts to go wider in video. Its other video undertakings include WSJ Live and the recently launched BallBall in Asia.

News Corp said that so far this year,user-generated videos managed by Storyful generated 750 million views.

Storyful’s management team of chief executive officer Mark Little and executive editor David Clinch will continue to oversee the company’s operations. Rahul Chopra, senior vice president of video for News Corp, will join the Storyful management team as chief revenue officer. Little will report to David Brinker, News Corp senior vice president and global head of Business & Corporate Development.

“By joining forces with News Corp, Storyful can quickly transform its vision into a global reality,” said Little. “We believe that journalism in the age of social media needs to be open, innovative and collaborative, and so does the business model that will sustain it. News Corp is a natural fit for a company which wants to help reinvent the news industry.”

Storyful will remains headquartered in Dublin, where the company was founded in 2008. Additional business development and advertising sales staff will be hired and based in New York.

Investors include Ray Nolan, one of Ireland’s leading entrepreneurs; SOS Ventures; the Irish State Enterprise Board; ACT Ventures; and Little.