Mark Orval is the Founder and Chief Executive of Newzbid, an app that crowdsources newsworthy content and rewards ‘Newzbidders’ with cash prizes. He has spent the last 25 years working in many different roles within large corporates, including Amcor, Nylex and more recently ADP – as their local Managing Director of Digital Motorworks.
A former AFL footballer and sports enthusiast, and the current President of the Collingwood Football Club Past Players Association, he is driven by realising his dreams and understanding the clear distinction between living with disappointment versus regret.newzbid.com @newzbid youtube facebook
Tell us a little bit about your idea and what made you decide to take the plunge and make it happen?
Newzbid provides Ca$h rewards to Newzbidders (Newzbid Subscribers) who upload newsworthy content via the Newzbid Smartphone App, that is pushed to media companies globally to use as part of their conventional news reporting process across multiple platforms.
The increasing reliance on Social Media as part of the typical daily news reporting services, combined with the growing number of smartphone users across the world identified a great fit for a service that brings these two things together in a way which ensures real time access to content. The fundamental difference to social media is that the content provider is rewarded with Ca$h payments rather than with “Likes”or “Re-Tweets”, or product that is provided by advertisers as contra such as a bottles of wine, dinner vouchers or on a larger scale, holidays or cars.
Nothing of value can be FREE for ever……….Newzbid is about providing a fun and exciting way for people to realise the value in what they can contribute to the global news platforms. Whilst the concept of providing content is not new, without rewards the enthusiasm for continual contribution declines.
Please explain your business model
Newzbid retains 40% of the total purchase paid for any content delivered through the Newzbid system. The true value exists in the database of users that Newzbid aims to build up globally, with other revenue streams earmarked as the Newzbid network expands.
Smartphone users can download the free Newzbid App from iTunes or Google Play and join the Newzbidder network.
Incidents that are happening everyday all around the world can then be captured (using photos and video) and uploaded on the Newzbid app. Newzbid then sells the content to media companies using push alerts, making them aware new content is available. The proceeds from the sale of the content, which is achieved via a subscription-based Log In system incorporated into the website, is then credited to the Newzbidder profile within the App of the content provider.
Funds can be “cashed out” once they reach $20AUD via an inbuilt function within the App, with funds transferred directly to the nominated Pay Pal or bank account of the Newzbidder.
What are you working on right now and what are you most excited about in the next three months?
Making Newzbid the No.1 destination for content by smartphone users, and keeping Newzbidders engaged with the App and the rest of the Newzbidder network is an immediate focus. As is selling the benefits of Newzbid to global Media Companies.
Recognising that conventional social media apps provide a reason for users to be constantly engaged is the driver for the current development schedule and road map items. These enhancements will ensure that Newzbid is even more fun and rewarding for its Newzbidder network.
How do you make ideas happen?
Everyday new thoughts and ideas form part of your thinking process, some remain longer than others, which is often the trigger telling you to invest more time into validating any next steps.
Newzbid is one idea that has stuck with me for over 18 months, which has resulted in me investing time and money to make it happen.
What does your typical day look like?
Much of the day is spent reviewing and planning so as to ensure we are maximising the chances of global awareness and uptake of the Newzbid brand. Having a presence on social media has been important as this has provided us with immediate traction overseas, with content already starting to flow.
I have personally engaged with many of the Newzbidders and other stakeholders to gain much needed and valuable feedback on how to make Newzbid sticky with the global audience of smartphone users.
In addition I am fielding calls from interested parties willing to invest in Newzbid to fast track its launch, including several large media companies.
What challenges have you faced when starting or growing a business/organisation in Australia?
The decision to self fund and take risks has proved to be the biggest challenge given the uncertainty with any idea/investment, regardless of how good it conceptually appears.
What is one idea you are willing to give away for free?
Newzbid is hoping to engage global celebrities and individuals who have a huge fan base across the world, therefore making them newsworthy in themselves, to utilise Newzbid as a mechanism to provide exclusive content which Media Companies will purchase and publish.
The proceeds from the sale of this content is then donated to a charity nominated by the celebrity/individual, with Newzbid also foregoing 100% of their commissions to ensure others who are in need benefit fully from this process.
Collectively this delivers a quick, easy, fun and sound way to support less fortunate individuals, with media companies critical stakeholders in this process as they are relied upon to pay for the content, which is more often than not now sourced FREE from social media.
What people/companies/organisations do you think are doing really cool stuff in your industry at the moment?
a) in Australia
Dominos Pizza Mogul initiative. Their foresight to also recognise that cash rewards drive loyalty and participation is to be applauded as this mirrors the drivers behind Newzbid. Adding the ability to also divert some/all of the cash rewards to nominated charities again validates the fundamentals which drive the Newzbid business model.
Guvera – Streaming Music App making great inroads in emerging markets overseas.
Google – What they do is amazing!
What role do you think business can play in affecting social change?
Results-driven individuals and companies can not only affect but they can set the agenda for social change given their influence on followers, readers and admirers – therefore they are huge influencers of social change.
Speaking of affecting social change, is there a particular charity you’d like our readers to support?
My Father-In-Law has been suffering from Dementia over the past few years and has recently been moved into full care. This has been a terrible strain on my family, especially my wife, as it is a very nasty disease that deprives people of their right to remember and cherish all that they have lived for.
On that basis Fight Dementia Australia has my full support and where I can make a difference I will.
Name 3 websites you would recommend to our readers.
Are there opportunities for people to get involved with your idea (e.g. are you looking for funding, interns, marketing help)?
I am always looking to others for advice and support across all aspects of the Newzbid business model, including funding to gain the global awareness required to make Newzbid successful. My kids as true “Millenials” have been instrumental in shaping the look & feel of Newzbid…..after all they represent the target market.
Great ideas cannot just happen and grow on their own, this relies on a collective effort. Whilst I am not recruiting at present this will be something I will be looking at doing in the near future so as to ensure the correct knowledge and skill base exists within Newzbid to make it work.
We’re aiming to build a community of Australian idea makers helping each other. If you could have one question answered about startups, marketing, social media, accounting, monetization, product development etc. What would it be?
What is the collective view on how critical it is to keep your idea secret as opposed to creating awareness as early as possible in the process so as to use feedback/input to shape change and improve the ultimate outcome and experience?
Very mixed opinion on this one!
What’s your favourite bar/café/restaurant?
Coffee Club – Knox Shopping Centre Melbourne.
This is where many long planning and strategy sessions took place to get the Newzbid concept to where it is today.