The Global Content Ecosystem
Uryu noted that while her company has no direct competitors, Nordot is often compared with companies like SmartNews and NewsBreak and other aggregators that are consumer-facing news media.
Instead, “Nordot is an infrastructure that’s plugged into news publishers’ or aggregators’ backend to help them syndicate or source content. As a matter of fact, we’re a sourcing platform for these aggregators.”
And while companies like Outbrain and Taboola, “offer a recommendation module on many publishers’ sites, mixed with sponsored content (ads) and editorial content, publishers don’t have editorial control over these widgets and don’t get to host these stories on their domain,” she added.
Opportunities and Challenges
Success for Nordot is measured in the success of its clients. For example, “DPAhas been unlocking more revenue and market growth by using Nordot’s technology for New Publishers/Distribution channels, New Markets/Languages and New Delivery Types (full text/widget), while Sony News Suite Android App has introduced Nordot as the official content library to source top global content.” Other successes include work with EMG, MSN and NewsBreak.
Challenges focus more on the frenetic pace of the news cycle. “The news media space is filled with breaking news and emergencies. Since their primary focus is to ‘get the news out,’ at times it’s difficult to get their attention to the backend part of the business,” she explained and added, “Editorial is exciting, but backend is not, so it often gets deprioritized. But that’s exactly where we are trying to help. Our syndication and sourcing platform is there to help maximize the distribution of the stories they produce and sourcing of stories they don’t produce. Our service exists so that they can fully focus on their editorial, and we take care of the other tasks. “
As a female entrepreneur, Uryu is in a unique position to assess the current landscape for women in media. She noted that she’s been fortunate to surround herself with progressive-minded people when it came to founding and running Nordot USA.
“I was born and raised in Japan, a country that is ranked one of the worst when it comes to gender gap (Japan is the 120th among 156 countries, according to the World Economic Forum), where leadership, eagerness, and outspokenness in women tend to be seen negatively.
“I had to carry the stigma pretty much all my life and my previous career in Japanese companies up until I met Ryutaro Nakase, founder and CEO of Nordot. He took me for who I was and allowed me to break free from the Japanese way of thinking when it comes to leadership. With his support, I was able to dream up a team in the US where I met Bhaargav Kosuri, with whom I founded Nordot USA.
“He’s a brilliant entrepreneur with no limiting beliefs and taught me how to be one too. Whether Ryutaro or Bhaargav, they give all women in a country like mine a hope: that women can be great leaders, and destiny is in our hands.”
Growth is the operative word for the future of Nordot. But keeping on top of technological advancements in the publishing space will continue to be challenging. “I think it’s quite difficult when you’re not the New York Times or Washington Post,” Uryu admitted. But the chance to share information should help many companies succeed. “What I always envision is for publishers to have a common infrastructure where they can share technology and resources based on other publishers' playbooks so that they’re automatically up to date. I feel that collective efforts and visibility are the key when it comes to publishers and technology in order to minimize the time on non-editorial tasks,” she stated.