Sophi.io Wins Two INMA Global Media Awards

TORONTO, June 07, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sophi.io, The Globe and Mail’s artificial intelligence-powered optimization and prediction platform, was announced as a winner of the International News Media Association (INMA) Global Media Awards in two categories, Best Use of Data to Automate or Personalize, and Best in Show for North America.

“The INMA Global Media Awards focus on excellence across all areas of the media business,” said Phillip Crawley, Publisher and CEO of The Globe and Mail. “I’m particularly pleased that Sophi’s fully dynamic, real-time, personalized paywall won in two categories, and that Sophi’s ground-breaking automated print laydown technology was nominated for its use with Naviga and Agderposten.”

Sophi also took second place in the categories of Best Initiative to Acquire Subscribers and Best Use of Data to Drive Subscriptions, Content, or Product Design and was shortlisted as a finalist in the following categories: Best Initiative to Register Users, and Best Product and Tech Innovation.

This year’s competition drew 644 entries from 212 news brands in 37 countries. The judges were 44 global media experts focused on breakthrough results, unique concepts, strong creativity, innovative thinking, and winner synergies across platforms.

“Great use of data with huge impact. Personalizing paywalls is key for success in the digital subscription business for news media. This entry presents more evidence why this is true,” one judge said about the paywall technology. “Their development of user- and content-propensity models is a best practice that others can learn from,” said another judge.

Another judge remarked: “Incredible Artificial Intelligence-driven personalization, and perfect embracing of the need to insert data-science talent into a news organization. Excellent impact and numbers.”

Sophi’s fully dynamic, personalized, real-time paywall uses natural language processing (NLP) to analyze both content and user behaviour to determine when to ask a reader for money or an email address, and when to leave them alone. It can optimize for multiple outcomes simultaneously (such as different bundles or price points) and also works well in cold-start situations.

Sophi is an AI platform that helps publishers identify their most valuable content and leverage it to achieve key business goals, such as maximizing subscriptions. Publishers on four continents now use Sophi’s AI/ML technology to power paywall decisions, website automation and print automation.

Sophi’s automated print laydown solution, which powers Naviga Publisher, earned an honourable mention in the Best Product and Tech Innovation category. An INMA judge commented: “Sophi – as the first of its kind – is a great example of an automated print laydown solution. Amazing to see that the work of the editor is reduced only to the selection of the content. The automation of up to 80% of newspapers’ editorial pages could be a game-changer of the print industry.”

Last year, Sophi also won the Online Journalism Award (OJA) for Technical Innovation in the Service of Digital Journalism, handed out by the Online News Association (ONA), and both the World Digital Media Award and the North American Digital Media Award awarded by The World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) in the category of Best Digital News Start-up.

About Sophi.io
Sophi.io (https://www.sophi.io) was developed by The Globe and Mail to help content publishers make important strategic and tactical decisions. It is a suite of AI and ML-powered optimization and prediction tools that includes Sophi Site Automation and Sophi Dynamic Paywall as well as Sophi Analytics, a decision-support system for content publishers. Sophi is designed to improve the metrics that matter most to your business, such as subscriber retention and acquisition, engagement, recency, frequency and volume.

Media Contact  
Jamie Rubenovitch 
Head of Marketing, Sophi 
The Globe and Mail         
416-585-3355  
jrubenovitch@globeandmail.com

mediaReach OMD Ghana scoops awards at Pitcher Festival of Creativity 2021

Focused on developing and providing world class media planning and buying services for companies in the country, mediaReach OMD has been recognised at the Pitcher African Regional Awards 2021, receiving 6 accolades in total.

The awards acknowledged that mediaReach OMD Ghana created pioneering creative work amid a global pandemic, uncertain economic circumstances and budget cuts.

mediaReachOMD Ghana won six awards within the following categories:

2 Silver: Integrated Campaign and Use of Media

3 Bronze: PR & Reputation Management, Use of Insights & Strategy and Use of Media

1 Shortlist: Use of Media

“This is an extraordinary achievement for all our teams and would not be possible without the support and close collaboration of our cherished clients. ‘We could never have achieved this without our clients’, according to the Managing Director of mediaReach OMD Ghana, Stephen Onaivi.

He explained that the company success lies in its philosophy, which is ‘delivering better decisions, faster’, adding that translating this brand promise into practice was certainly put to the test in 2020 as the health pandemic unfolded. And it is excited to know that out of 7 cases presented for awards 6 of them were recognized.

He further explained that the achievement would not have been possible without a people-first strategy.

“Without the talent and dedication of the people we have, our clients would not have been armed with the invaluable, strategies developed to ensure visionary thinking and big-picture actions.”

He urged every talent within the organization to strive towards continuing the winning streak by delivering good work for the benefit of our client’s businesses.

The success of mediaReach OMD at the awards was unprecedented as the Nigerian team also scooped 11 awards, including the Media Agency of the Year award.
Now in its fourth year, the Pitcher Awards has quickly become one of the most valuable and internationally respected accolades for creative work coming out of Africa.

The Pitcher Awards started as an annual celebration of creativity in West Africa, but beginning with the 2020 edition, the scope has now widened to include all work created, released or implemented anywhere on the African continent in line with its vision to provide the true and authentic benchmark for African creative excellence.

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Source: Ghana Web

Audiomack collaborates with Y 107.9FM Accra to delight drivetime listeners

Music streaming platform, Audiomack has teamed up with leading radio station, Y 107.9FM Accra to broadcast ‘Audiomack Hour: Brought to you by Audiomack’ which features the top 10 songs being listened to by Ghanaians, off the Audiomack charts.

The music programme which premiered on June 1st 2021 and running till 31st August 2021, is scheduled to air on Y FM’s biggest show – Dryve of your Lyfe, hosted by Kojo Manuel, from 3pm GMT to 7pm GMT on weekdays.

Audiomack Hour has been specially curated to provide a thrilling musical experience by ensuring listeners are entertained while on the move with the hottest tracks from around the world.

Speaking on the partnership, Charlotte Bwana, Head of Business Development and Media Partnerships of Audiomack Africa highlighted Audiomack’s passion for consistently providing Ghanaians with easy access to quality music.

She said “At Audiomack, our mission is to democratize music streaming and we have created yet another avenue for the wider Ghanaian audience to explore, experience and enjoy the exciting musical experience offered on the Audiomack app. We are excited for the opportunity to connect further with the Ghanaian market by leveraging a platform like Y 107.9FM who shares in our vision to move music forward.”

With Y 107.9FM’s core listenership being the youth, this partnership will create an avenue for a huge percentage of this demographic to immerse themselves in the world of Audiomack where both creators and listeners get served the very best in music services and experiences.

Also commenting, Eddy Blay, Programs Manager of Y 107.9 FM, Accra said, “We are purely for the ‘young and young at heart’, and that is why we are excited to join forces and resources with Audiomack who has a common goal to reach more people through the music we serve. From the freshest tracks to top-notch playlists, we want to spread the magic of music from Ghana to the world.”

This initiative comes on the heels of Audiomack’s partnership with Beat 99.9FM Lagos which was designed to provide clutter-breaking content to Nigerians. With a presence in all 54 African countries, Audiomack aims to democratize music streaming by providing accessibility for all.

About Audiomack

Audiomack is a music streaming and discovery platform that allows artists, labels, and distributors to share unlimited music, and fans to discover new artists, songs, albums, mixtapes, playlists, podcasts and more. Breaking the best and hottest new music through a mix of real-time trending, top charts, and expertly-curated playlists, Audiomack showcases music’s up-next stars.

Download the Audiomack app from the Google Play Store or the App Store.

About Y 107.9FM

YFM is Ghana’s number one music station radio station under the Global Media Alliance Broadcasting Company (GMABC) and broadcast on triangular dials including 107.9 Mhz in Accra, 97.9 Mhz in Takoradi and 102.5 Mhz in Kumasi. YFM characterizes their core audience as “young Ghanaians who are imaginative, curious and ambitious. They are continuously seeking new ways to improve their lives and their communities so that they are able to lead successful and rewarding lives.

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Source: Ghana Web

‘It’s an insult’ – Polo react to Lippert’s claim that Black Stars lack quality to win AFCON

Ghana legend, Mohammed Polo has taken offense to the claim by Ghana FA Technical Director Bernhard Lippert that the Black Stars do not have enough quality to win the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament.

The experienced German tactician in an interview with Citi Sports in May created the impression that the four-time AFCON winning country lacks the quality to win the continental showpiece when he noted that more quality is needed for the upcoming tournament in Cameroon.

“We have to get used to [the players] and find a final squad, and we also have to establish this team.

“If we really want to qualify for the World Cup and be successful in the AFCON, we have to get a little bit more quality and we have to play more successful and maybe also more attractive football,” Bernhard Lippert said last month.

Sharing his opinion on those comments in an interview with Class 91.3FM, Coach Mohammed Polo says the GFA Technical Director has insulted Ghanaians.

“This is an insult to all of us. It is an insult. We don’t need an expatriate to come and tell us that. What do we have? Are we playing rugby? We are a football nation. That is the players that we have and we have to get the best out of them,” the Ghanaian tactician shared.

Polo continued, “You [Lippert] as a technical head you can’t say this and then get out of it. That’s why we said we need a Ghanaian [for the technical director role]. I mean how can you say this?

“I think really if that is what he said then I feel very bad.”

Having qualified for the 2021 AFCON expected to be staged in Cameroon in January 2022, Ghana will hope to end a trophy drought dating back to 1982.

Technical Director Bernhard Lippert and the entire Black Stars technical team will have a big role to play if Ghana will be successful at the end of the tournament.

Source: Modern Ghana

Phar Rangers FC withdraws from GFA competitions

Accra,- The Management and Directors of PHAR Rangers FC have withdrawn from all Ghana Football Association (GFA) competitions including the ongoing Division One Zone 3 League and the FA Cup.

A Statement from the club signed by the Administrative and Operations Manager, Mr. Hamid Saaka said, the Division one club have pulled out from GFA’s competitions with immediate effect.

“The Management and Directors of PHAR Rangers FC have resolved to withdraw from all GFA competitions including the Division One Zone Three League and the FA Cup with immediate effect.

“Consider the club defunct from henceforth. We thank you for your cooperation,” it said.

Phar Rangers are 13th on the Division one zone three league table with 27 points after 23 matches.

Source: Ghana News Agency

I own Izwe Savings and Loans, the biggest microfinance company in Ghana – Abedi Pele

Former Ghana star, Abedi ‘Pele’ Ayew has revealed that he owns the biggest microfinance company in the West African country.

According to the Olympique Marseille legend, he is the owner of Izwe Savings and Loans, a microfinance company that has been in existence since 2011.

Speaking to the French ambassador to Ghana, Anne Sophie, he said his decision to set up a microfinance business was to lessen the burden on the ordinary Ghanaian.

“I have done so many things but my character is very calm, I am always in the dark and I believe in that,” he said.

“I have been in the country working very hard, I have a microfinance company which is very huge and number one in the country called Izwe Loans.”

“We give loans to teachers, military, police to support them in their daily lives.

“They have to send their children to school and so we give them these loans to manage and buy things for their children,” he stated.

Pele is one of the best footballers to have ever emerged from the country. He was part of the 1982 squad that won the Africa Cup of Nations.

He also won the Champions League with Marseille and also emerged as Africa’s best player of the year four times.

Source: Modern Ghana

Krystal Palace thrash Okyeman Planners in all Eastern clash

Akosombo (E/R),– Akosombo-based Division One side Krystal Palace humiliated fellow Eastern Region Division One side Okyeman Planners 3-1 in matchday 23 in the ongoing National Division league played at the Akotex Park Akosombo.

The home team took the lead through David Asare in the 21st minute of the game, ensuring that the first half of the game went their way.

Krystal Palace increased their tally to two through Desmond Awuah in the 53rd minute to put his side in a comfortable lead.

The host team, after pressing for more goals were rewarded in the 86th minute when Paul Yanney added another goal to make the scoreline 3-0.

However, the away team Okyeman Planners pulled a consolation goal through Isaac Yeboah to make the scoreline 3-1.

Krystal Palace after the victory have increased their points to 33 and is firmly positioned on the 16 team league table in zone three, while, Okyeman Planners still, hold on to their 38 points after matchday 23.

A fan of Krystal Palace, Ishmael Tetteh who spoke to GNA after the game congratulated the team for the performance and encouraged the players to strive hard to attain success for the club, indicating that their dream is to play in the premier league.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Verstappen and Hamilton aim to bounce back after Baku GP agony

The misfortunes of Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix sees the Formula One title race unchanged.

But Hamilton’s Mercedes team are expected to be more competitive again in the next races against Verstappen’s Red Bull.

Berlin, June 7, (dpa/GNA) – Max Verstappen heads to the French Grand Prix in Le Castellet on June 20 still leading the Formula One championship but like title rival Lewis Hamilton leaves Azerbaijan has rather mixed feelings after a turbulent weekend.

Red Bull’s Verstappen seemed on course towards a convincing victory on the Baku street course on Sunday when his left rear tyre blew up with five laps left.

That promoted Mercedes’ Hamilton to second which would have seen him re-take the championship lead but he then locked up on the restart when trying to pass the eventual race winner Sergio Perez in the other Red Bull, and finished 15th.

As a result, Verstappen maintains his four-point lead over the seven-time champion Hamilton in a race where each man could have gained but also lost much more.

“Today was really a stroke of bad luck but Max had bad luck too,” Hamilton said. “It’s one of the toughest moments I’ve had for a while – one moment we had all the points and the next we had none.”

Red Bull showed their superiority on the narrow and turny street circuit just as they had a fortnight ago in Monaco where Verstappen won and Hamilton only managed seventh.

A podium for Hamilton in Baku would have been beyond Mercedes’ expectations but the team should be more competitive again on regular race tracks from the French event in Le Castellet onwards.

That was one of the reasons why Verstappen was upset after his crash which he luckily escaped unharmed.

“It’s a shame that we missed out on the opportunity to make the gap bigger to Lewis today in the championship as we know when we get back to the normal tracks Mercedes will be very strong again,” Verstappen said.

And Mercedes motor sport chief Toto Wolff vowed after a weekend to forget with zero points: “This is a team which is so strong and so angry, and we are going to turn that anger into positive form and come back.”

A major analysis of the Baku race will also take place at tyre providers Pirelli because Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll suffered exactly the same mishap as Verstappen earlier in the race, luckily also walking away unharmed.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner suggested tyre failures but Pirelli motor sport boss Mario Isola spoke of debris as a possible reason.

“I believe I can exclude that failures were due to tyre wear, because it’s not a matter of tyre wear. The rear-left tyre is not the most stressed tyre in Baku,” Isola said.

“For Max, it could be debris from Lance’s car. For Lance, honestly I don’t know because there were no incidents before his crash, so I cannot exclude that there was a part of something on track.”

Source: Ghana News Agency