German publisher Axel Springer is downsizing its Upday news brand and will relaunch it next year as a service driven exclusively by artificial intelligence, resulting in some layoffs.
As part of this plan, Axel Springer is ending its cooperation with Samsung, eliminating Upday for Samsung, a pre-installed news app for Samsung devices, effective at the end of the year, the company announced on Friday.
“With Upday, we have combined news and technology in a new way,” says Thomas Hirsch, CEO of Upday. “Starting next year, Axel Springer will use the Upday brand, initially on a smaller scale, for a new AI-driven platform.”
Hirsch adds that he is “looking forward to seeing how the new product will leverage the opportunities and possibilities of AI,”
This transition, which begins at the end of this month, will result in some layoffs, Reuters reports. At present, 70 people remain out of a one-time workforce of 150, it adds.
Axel Springer also owns such brands as Politico and Business Insider.
The new Upday will focus on topics at the forefront of public attention in the digital world, the company says.
The Samsung product reached millions of users via pre-installation on Samsung devices, and eventually covered 34 European countries.
The change will not surprise anyone who has been following the company.
In June of this year,, the news broke that Axel Springer’s Bild, Europe’s largest tabloid, will “unfortunately be parting ways with colleagues who have tasks that in the digital world are performed by AI and/or automated processes”, the company said in an email to staff, The Guardian reported in June.