French? Love celebrity gossip? In that case, you're probably familiar with Eeple. This media group owns a number of websites, including Melty Fashion, Melty Style, and Melty Buzz. The young company has seen a 100% rise of traffic since 2010 (to right around 4.5 million visits and 10 million page views per month), and will see an estimated €1.2 million in revenue this year. The secret to its success? That would be the robot editor-in-chief.
At Eeple, algorithms track popular news stories on Google and various social networks, allowing the system to assign topics to writers and schedule stories for maximum traffic. And the success of this model is borne out by the the numbers; as Benoit Raphael of Forbes writes, "there are some lessons traditional media can draw from this: content production and distribution have specific rules that digital natives understand more deeply than the actual leaders of the 'old media.'" Then again, the Melty pages are all pretty boring, and (for the time being, at least) the sites can't write themselves. So it looks like our jobs are safe — for now.