Mather Economics, a global subscription and revenue management company, has acquired the artificial intelligence-based content curation and analytics platform Sophi Inc. from The Globe and Mail.
Globe and Mail publisher and chief executive Phillip Crawley announced the sale of Sophi to Atlanta-based Mather Economics, a subsidiary of Mediahuis. Launched in 2015, Sophi is an AI-powered tool initially developed to help boost the attraction and retention of online news subscribers.
“Sophi has been the jet fuel propelling the digital subscription growth of The Globe and Mail in recent years, but for it to succeed on a global level, it needs scale, and that will happen under the new ownership of Mather and Mediahuis, who have hundreds of customers, especially in the USA and Europe,” Mr. Crawley said. “The Globe will continue to use Sophi, and we wish it well.”
No financial details of the transaction were disclosed, and the deal closed last Friday.
The introduction of Sophi came several years after the Globe launched a metered paywall system in 2012, a business model many publishers across North America were starting to embrace at the time to help increase revenue against wavering print advertising.
Sophi identifies and predicts which content is most relevant to which readers, helping the paper to maximize subscription revenue. It has become a vital tool in The Globe’s editorial process, allowing editors to determine, through extensive analytics, what kind of content audiences value.
The AI platform also assists The Globe, in home-page editing, social-media management, pricing and content optimization.
First used only internally, Sophi expanded into other newsrooms and companies in various sectors and will now gain broader access to Mather’s more than 600 clients around the world.
Mather has more than 20 years of experience helping news media companies adapt their business models to new digital competitors, changing advertising markets, data privacy regulations, mobile platforms and evolving customer demands.
Sophi’s CEO and founder, Mike O’Neill, will join Mather in a prominent role, and all 32 Sophi employees accepted employment offers and joined the company last week.