Nov 17, 2020 - Economy

Exclusive: Outbrain leaders launch newsletter curation app Listory


Listory, a newsletter curation app created within the content recommendation company Outbrain, is launching this week, executives tell Axios.

Why it matters: As the newsletter craze expands, it makes sense that entrepreneurs are looking for ways to help users streamline their inboxes.

Details: Listory was founded in March 2020 by Outbrain executives Yaniv Gilad, Listory's CEO, and Yaron Galai, its Active Chairman, after completing a management buyout from Outbrain.

  • The company has raised $4 million in seed funding round led by Viola Ventures, Globis Capital and Rhodium. It currently has 7 full-time employees.
  • The app aims to serve as a content refinery system for newsletters. It currently has more than 1,000 newsletters featured within Listory.
  • Listory has a free version, as well as a premium subscription that costs $5 a month. The premium version offers users advanced curation and reading features and an ad-free experience.
  • The company plans to make money through a mix of ad and subscription revenue.

Yes, but: Paywalled newsletters aren't being featured on Listory because the app can't get their content.

  • Listory will be available via an app on iOS and Android and will have a desktop-accessible website. Users can use the personalized app to filter through content, or they can also receive a customized daily curation email of their newsletters.
  • It also plans to help users sort through other types of content by making recommendations to users based off of newsletters and other users or curators that it wishes to follow.
  • It recommends stories from within newsletters based on what newsletter writers users recommend, helping sort through overlap between newsletters.

As part of the app launch, Listory is paying users to help test its content recommendations to test through what it's calling the "Listory Challenge."

  • The company is asking users if the first story they see is actually the best for them. If not, they can submit a better story that they’ve found elsewhere.
  • For each submission, they get a $.10 credit to their account to eventually allow them to subscribe to a media outlet of their choice from within the app.

The bottom line: "We think newsletters very exciting part of media today, but there's no mechanism for curating and refining what's happening in newsletters," says Galai.

  • "There's an endless feed of stuff coming out you online. The idea Listory is take as many of signals about what might be interesting and refine until you get to handful of items that are the best use of your time."

What's next: The goal is eventually for Listory to build a way to help paid newsletters monetize while gaining more subscribers and readers.

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