Getting started on NewsBreak has been interesting. I’m well on my way to being monetised, just waiting for my application to be approved.
The reach of the platform is impressive. I posted a few of my under-performing stories from Medium and three went viral. Views on those stories were dramatically better than on Medium. NewsBreak doesn’t record ‘reads’, only views. Check this out…
Views on NewsBreak compared to views on Medium
- NewsBreak achieved 12,000 views on a story about Putin’s health. The respective Medium story got 87 views.
- NewsBreak achieved 9,143 views on a story about toxic air pollution in Ohio. The same story on Medium got 32 views.
- NewsBreak achieved 6,165 views on a story about a new type of vaccine under development. The same story on Medium got 59 views.
- NewsBreak achieved 1,269 views on a story about coffee making you spend more. The same story on Medium got 45 views.
Those views on NewsBreak were achieved in less than a week. On Medium, those stories have been up for months and they’ve earned a grand total of $3.64. Three of those four stories earned less than a dollar on Medium.
On NewsBreak these stories have earned me nothing. But that’s because I posted them during my trial period before I was monetised. Posting 10 stories is a requirement before you can apply to be monetised. I suspect if I’d been monetised already these stories would have earned more than they did on Medium — possibly a lot more.
I had difficulty signing up to NewsBreak because of the requirement for a US telephone number. When I did manage to do it, the experience was a bit stressful, so I saved the terms to read on another day.
Then, a few days ago, I read the terms and the guidelines for contributors. That’s when I realised that NewsBreak can sub-licence your content to anyone, anytime, anywhere. They can sell a licence for another publisher to use your work, without compensating you.
That’s obviously not ideal. I prefer to be in control of my work and who gets a licence to use it. But we are where we are.
Terms from NewsBreak:
"When you Post User Content on or through the Services, you grant NewsBreak a world-wide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, non-exclusive, and sub-licenseable license to use, copy, distribute, reproduce, modify, edit, adapt, publicly perform, publicly display, translate, create derivative works from, sell, lease, transmit, disassemble, and publish such User Content, in whole or in part, in any format or medium now known or developed in the future, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the Services (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels now known or developed in the future. To the extent any User Content you submit includes biographical information, including your name, likeness, voice, or photograph, you acknowledge and agree that this license shall apply to the same."
Proceeding with caution
I’ve invested too much time trying to get started on NewsBreak to give up because I don’t like those terms. However, it does make me wonder if I should change my avatar photo because I’d rather they didn’t sell my image for advertising, or anything else. That’s happened once already, and I only earned 38p from the sale.
It does make me wary about what else I put on there because anything I put onto NewsBreak could turn up later in The Daily Mail, the Washington Post, or Playboy!
That might not be so bad if the publishers paid me £500 for the privilege of using my work, but based on those terms, they won’t. NewsBreak might earn from sub-licencing my work, but I will only earn from views accrued on NewsBreak itself, once I’m monetised.
For the elimination of doubt, the bit about sub-licencing is also repeated in their legal section, under the heading, ‘Our Right and Use of your Content’.
It goes into a little more detail there, talking about the sub-licencing being, ‘in connection with NewsBreak services and business’, but then it adds that it’s not limited to that. And they might make your content available to other organisations for broadcast, distribution, reposting, etc.
So, I’m proceeding with caution anyway, and I hope it pays off. I noticed the same terms on Hubpages, and decided not to proceed with that one — not for now, anyway.
One story rejected
My time on NewsBreak has been trouble-free, so far. I had one story about taking a robot for a walk rejected because I didn’t state that I was affiliated with the product or company.
This is because I’m *not* affiliated with the product or company — I just thought the robot looked fun and decided to write about it. I looked up the company online and used one of its press photos from its media pages. Nonetheless, Newsbreak assumes I’m on a mission to sell the product, so they require me to state my affiliation.
I have now added a note saying I have ‘no affiliation’! I will resubmit it when I am monetised!
I’ve managed to avoid strikes, which do get some people into trouble. Hopefully, I’ll continue to do OK. We’ll see.
Comments on NewsBreak
People often say you should ignore the comments on NewsBreak because they are often rude or upsetting. As you can imagine, curiosity got the better of me and I had a look.
Of the 100 comments on the piece about Putin, most of them are likening his health problems to President Biden. I can cope with that.
Of the 120 comments on Ohio, most are arguing about environmental issues being nonsense. And of the 116 comments about the new type of vaccine, most are saying they wouldn’t take it.
The comments really aren’t that bad. They’re what I’d expect to see on any news site.
I have a question
I do have one question though. Do longer stories on NewsBreak earn more than shorter ones because people are exposed to more adverts? Or do long and short stories have the same earnings potential? I’d like to know whether there’s any financial benefit in adding extra detail to my stories on NewsBreak.
Do share your thoughts and experiences!
© Susie Kearley 2023. All Rights Reserved.