Analytics firm Visual Revenue has today announced the launch of a new feature that allows digital editors to see how one headline resonates with their audience over another.
The analytics software used by large news organisations including NBC, CNN Money and the Globe and Mail, is designed to provide users with real-time recommendations on what content to place where on their homepage and for how long.
Visual Revenue describes itself as a "predictive analytics engine" and has a vision of becoming the the "Bloomberg terminal of the newsroom", Dennis Mortensen, CEO and founder of the company told Journalism.co.uk.
The company is promising the launch of the new headline testing feature will allow digital editors to see the first results within 15 seconds.
"Editors can simply run a second headline against the one they have published via their CMS," Mortensen explained.
"The platform provides real-time data on which headline is performing better against the other as well as against the machine-learned position benchmark (for that time of day) and inform the editor when there is a winner."
The suggestions the software makes in where to position stories on a news site's front page are very specific, Charlie Holbech, Visual Revenue's co-founder explained.
"The recommendations are targeted to individual positions on the homepage or a section front page. For example, this story should go into this 'hero spot' or your 'photo feature one' or 'headline stack position number five'."
Mortensen added that the Visual Revenue software is designed for editors and allows them to override and ignore recommendations if they chose to do so.
For example, last Friday afternoon when I spoke to Mortensen by phone from his base in New York, he explained that an editor may decide to go with one story over another.
"If I were an editor I might want to go with Donna Summer rather than Greece. I'd therefore pin the story to a hero spot and ask the analytics software not to make recommendations as I've made my choice already."
Mortensen and Holbech spent the last 10 years in "traditional analytics", selling their their business Index Tools to Yahoo.