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How Newsweek increased total revenue per visit by 10% with Recommendations AI

Newsweek provides the latest news, in-depth analysis, and ideas about international issues, technology, business, culture, and politics to its readers around the world. While editors pick the best articles to display on the home page and topic pages, it is also critical for Newsweek to offer a personalized experience by delivering fresh and relevant article recommendations tailored to the unique interests of each reader. This need became even more important during the pandemic as readers wanted to be kept informed about the latest news and understand its impact on their own lives and businesses.

Personalization with Recommendations AI

Google has spent years delivering recommended content across flagship properties such as Google Ads, Google Search, and YouTube. Recommendations AI takes advantage of Google’s expertise in recommendations and is powered by state-of-the-art machine learning models. It is also a fully managed service with automated model training and recommendation serving infrastructure that have helped to meet Newsweek’s planet-scale needs.

Newsweek had been concerned that a sizable fraction of their users left the website after reading only one article and as a result was evaluating deploying ML-based recommendations on their article detail page to increase user engagement. Newsweek and Google Cloud expected that highly personalized recommendations from Recommendations AI would help readers find the articles they would be most interested in, thereby significantly increasing the click-through rate (CTR) of recommendations being shown.

Newsweek ran A/B tests on both desktop and mobile to compare their existing solution with content recommendations from Recommendations AI which leverage a user’s reading history along with article metadata such as categories, titles, and article publish time to ensure that recommendations are relevant, fresh, and personalized. The result was a strong improvement in business metrics.

“Google Cloud Recommendations AI has not only improved our CTR by 50%-75% and subscription conversion rate by 10%, but also allowed us to increase total revenue per visit by 10%,” says Michael Lukac, Newsweek’s Chief Technology Officer. “The fully managed service, advanced AI, and real-time personalization have allowed us to make an improvement in our user engagement. It has improved the diversity of content and personalized assets to the individual reader. Newsweek has been able to easily create and edit models from the dashboard while retraining them daily to handle changing catalogs.”

Next Steps

Newsweek has seen tremendous benefit from Recommendations AI’s ability to create a superior reader experience with personalization, and sees opportunities to further improve the reader’s journey by having Google cover more real estate on their site, app, and on other channels such as personalized newsletters. To explore what Google Cloud’s Recommendations AI can do for your business, click here.

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