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WatchUp: ‘Video Centric News Reader’ Relaunches With New Features

As if you needed another way to waste time, WatchUp, an app that aggregates news video content has relaunched with new partnerships, a redesign, and new features.

It’s worth a download, especially if you consider news consumption to be anything but a way to waste time.

Founder Adriano Farano, a self proclaimed ‘digital dinosaur’ who helped found Cafe Babel, calls the app a “video centric news reader” focused on setting a new standard for the news experience on the iPad:

It’s no joke… There are many video aggregators but none that focus solely on the news. We offer all that comes with the immersive experience of video, and a chance to read print articles.

He’s talking about the new Watch and Read feature, which allows you to choose to ‘lean in,’ he says, if something is particularly of interest and click on links to related articles from around the web for context.

The concept is simple aggregation, with a focus on quality. They basically pull YouTube channels from outlets that his team considers “the best.” They quantify ‘best’ by choosing channels that are strictly ‘newsy’ and how often the outlet posts video. They’ve recently partnered with PBS Newshour, which runs a bumper ad for WatchUp on their own videos, and Univision. Farano is psyched about that one:

Univision is interesting because they are the first partner with which we are experiementing with monetization. As a startup, monetization is not a primary concern, but we are open to new ideas and plan to try new things with other partners.

As with most readers, you can curate your favorite channels and choose from, along with major American outlets, a robust offering of international video channels — which is sort of fun if you’re a bilingual newsie like me. No more scouring YouTube and buggy international news sites to get all the details from across the pond.

Farano’s tapped into something: as news outlets get their respective video channels together, it’s nice to have a sleek, user friendly app with which to consume the content. And he’s not trying to reinvent the wheel:

If you promise to be like TV you’re going to lose. Television is so much more powerful than any iPad app out there, and this is, I think, something that many video aggregators don’t realize. There is a need to get to the highest quality content in the shortest amount of time. 

Until now, that’s been hard to do. What do you think? Do you use video news readers?

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