Text-to-video startup Guide relaunches to help online news publishers add videos to their sites

Text-to-video startup Guide relaunches to help online news publishers add videos to their sites

Newsreader app Guide is no more… well, at least in its current form.

The company that once aimed to help consumers better digest the news with a video channel of websites read by its lovable avatars has been reborn as a service for publishers. It’s still focused on the news, but has evolved into a platform that provides online sites with inexpensive quality videos, which may have been originally thought of as being too far out of reach. The new service launches today.

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What publishers receive from the reborn Guide is technology that will turn any news article, like the one you’re reading now, into a video. The company says that its process will “auto-generate” multimedia videos in a way that is “inexpensive, fast, and at scale.” Prior to launch, the service had already been in use on 270 sites. Guide claims that the average click to play rate was 19 percent, while the average completion rate was 47.8 percent.

Guide intends to monetize its service through standard fees for voice-over work and advertising inserted into videos placed on a publisher’s website. In addition, it will license its technology through a SaaS offering where publishers can pay per video and on a CPM rate.

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Freddie Laker, Guide’s CEO, says that he’s trying to bring video creation to online publishers who want to become more competitive with larger publications, but don’t necessarily have the resources to do so.

Founded in 2012, Guide’s original idea was to help people consume the news. After its launch, it had nearly 100,000 customers using its Web and iPad apps. It even made it to the TNW Conference in Amsterdam to participate in the Startup Rally. However, in December, Guide decided to change its direction.

Fast forward a month later, and the evolution of Guide has been completed and is now open to publishers who want to incorporate videos into their site.

Photo credit: ANDREW COWIE/AFP/Getty Images

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