Seznam.cz grew by 6% year on year in 2012. The company’s revenues from advertising amounted to CZK 2.834 bn. Seznam.cz’s 2012 operating profit reached nearly one billion. Seznam.cz carries on in product and technological innovations. Its plans include enhanced possibilities of targeted advertising and the development of its own data centre.
Seznam Zprávy to bring innovative news reporting
From today, an innovative news service called Seznam Zprávy will appear on the Seznam.cz homepage. Built over the summer by Jakub Unger, the editorial board’s goal is to provide quality and serious news content and journalism not available anywhere else. Seznam Zprávy will combine the approaches of printed dailies, on-line media, and television broadcasting.
“We’ll be pulling together the best of the Czech internet on our homepage over the long term. This will now become the first channel where we’ll add our own reporting to provide a summary of the most important information offered by the Novinky.cz server. We already have such high quality content that it would be a shame to keep it under wraps. What you see today is just the start. We’ll be using videos, quick news reporting, strong personalities, and internet approach,” said Pavel Zima, General and Content Manager of Seznam.cz, describing the fundamental vision of the fresh news service.
The approach to content: independent, strong, and innovative information
Seznam Zprávy’s cornerstone is reporting by video. Over the course of the day, videos will adapt to the behaviour of people on the internet. The morning will open with exclusive news content formerly and primarily provided by the daily press, while other hot news and services more typical of on-line media will be presented during the day. The evening will feature opinions and news summaries with live broadcast at the same time as regular television news. All videos will include text that expands on accounts of events with additional context and facts.
“We don’t want to create a copy of an agency news service. We’ll be offering our own investigative reporting, original programming, and a selection of the most interesting political, business, and popular events. A live video studio created at Seznam will let us interactively respond to and comment on current happenings. We’ll be providing a fresh approach to news, active reporting, and be able to regularly obtain information not available anywhere else. We’ll be doing the maximum to make sure people will want to watch, read, and share our version of the news, as well as ensure the best journalists will want to keep contributing to its preparation,” said Jakub Unger, Editor-in-Chief for News at Seznam.cz, describing his team’s ambitions.
Seznam Zprávy comprises three basic building blocks. The first is the news stream. Every day the editorial board will offer hot news about main events in the form of short texts or quick explanatory videos. This will be supplemented by current affairs, reportage, and analyses. Some prepared by Seznam Zprávy editors some in cooperation with respected editorial boards. Their partners include teams from the Forbes and Reportér magazines. The second building block is news reporting offered throughout the day, its main output being the commented evening Zprávy na Seznamu news broadcast live from the Prague studio at the Seznam.cz building. This will always appear on the homepage after 8 p.m. as the evening internet peak begins. The third building block is original programmes presented by news team personalities at Seznam.cz and their cooperating partners.
Czech journalism personalities will present their own programmes
Seznam.cz has acquired leading names in Czech journalism for its new editorial team. The team, comprising around thirty members, includes names such as Jindřich Šídlo, long-time political news service editor of the publisher Economia, Jiří Kubík, shared content editor at the same publisher, and Václav Dolejší, a political analyst at Hospodářské noviny. Karel Hrubeš, reporter for MF Dnes, Adam Junek, Chief Reporter for Lidové noviny, and Zdeněk John, Chief Editor for MF Dnes, have come from the publisher Mafra to be at Seznam.cz. Reporter Jaroslav Gavenda has come from Czech Radio, and Roman Pistorius, head of news at Nova Television is also on board. Notable names from Czech Television such as Jan Cizner, head of the financial news editorial board, Martin Jonáš, foreign correspondent, and Zuzana Hodková, economics reporter, are also with us.
In addition to the daily news service, editors will prepare their own programmes. For example, Šťastné pondělí Jindřicha Šídla will provide a satirical look at contemporary events on the political scene. In his show, this leading Czech political commentator will use social networks to get fans involved. Interview Zuzany Hodkové will respond to current events and phenomena with short, five-minute interviews of top celebrities and broadcast by Seznam.cz once or twice a week. Original programming will also be seen in cooperation with external editorial boards and teams. For example, Jiří Kubík, in cooperation with Sabina Slonková of Neovlivní.cz and the creative team of Vít Klusák and Filip Remunda, will introduce a completely new “docu-reality” format – investigative news in real time.
Technological challenges for new-generation news services
Seznam Zprávy also faces some technological challenges. Video-based news reporting places high demands on data. Consequently, Seznam.cz has had to adapt its CDN (Content Delivery Network), which it operates solely using its own technologies. Seznam.cz has achieved fast page loading and flawlessly responsive service behaviour on mobile telephones by supporting AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) technology. The product team has also been working on automated and dynamically adaptive streaming quality for varying internet user connection speeds as well as new technologies to make live transmission recordings and live studios immediately available to viewers at the end of live broadcasts.
“Considering all the technological challenges we’ve faced over the weeks, we would like to add that we started displaying our homepage in a completely new way last night. You’ll find Seznam Zprávy in the column on the left of our homepage, which is now exclusively dedicated to news reporting. The column on the right offers additional services, such as weather information and access to e-mail accounts,” added Marek Vacek, Product Manager at Seznam.cz, responsible for the homepage, CDN, and Seznam Zprávy.