LAKANA Insights, News, and Updates


To kick the new year off properly, this month's edition will feature CES 2017 and highlight a trending technology that will influence your customers and businesses going forward. As always, please continue sharing what's on your mind and make suggestions for future articles and themes here:

This month, we will take a break from talking about products and instead talk a bit about the people behind the products. LAKANA's product team continues to drive innovation, and with a new leader in place, we are poised to create solutions that improve our customers' business and editorial performance.

We are pleased to welcome Karina Beckwith as our new Vice President of Product - Karina will focus on our core roadmap and R&D initiatives that drive audience, engagement and monetization for our platform partners. Karina brings over 16 years of expertise in product management, partner innovation and revenue generation. She's recognized for having launched new service and digital product offerings that drove incremental sign-ups, subscriber engagement & monetization, as well as having negotiated & implemented multimillion-dollar deals with partners including Google, Yahoo! and Symantec. Prior to her most recent 10 years collaborating and executing on RPU initiatives at United Online, Karina demonstrated leadership in partnering with senior teams on business plans and directives for increased profitability, market share, and shareholder value at Citysearch, Ticketmaster, and Valueclick.

A Great Start to Another Great Year

  • Congratulations to Graham Media Group for being named 2016 Station Group of the Year by Broadcasting & Cable. Read More...
  • We congratulate TEGNA for its recent partnership with MegaPhone TV, an interactive dual-screen participation platform. Read More...

New Site Launches

In late December, we were pleased to welcome three new Morgan Murphy sites to the LAKANA platform.

CES 2017: Alexa, Alexa and More Alexa

There were a number of innovative gadgets at this year's CES - ranging from smart socks to paper-thin TV screens. However, the visible winner was Amazon's artificial voice assistant, Alexa. In fact, it was estimated that roughly 700 apps released at CES were powered by Amazon's AI operating system! Companies such as Lenovo, Whirlpool, Samsung, Ford and Dish TV showcased their Alexa-centric products and prominently demonstrated the future possibilities of "voice recognition-enabled IoT devices" at the conference. Click here for a curated list of CES 2017 Alexa products.

(Image courtesy of CES and Venture Beat)

The AI opportunity is clear for many of these product-driven companies that are continually looking for ways to improve user experiences. However, how will artificial assistant and voice recognition technologies impact content owners? Although still in the experimental stage, many publishers have already started leveraging Alexa's 90-second news "flash briefings." - WaPo, BBC, The Guardian and NPR are few of the early adopters. Moreover, NBC became the first O&O to launch local news on Alexa-devices, and CNN recently introduced a near real-time Alexa TV News offering in November.

As adoption for these IoT devices continues to grow, we think that it is imperative for publishers to start experimenting with new distribution channels. Are artificial assistants a part of your organization's 2017 Digital Agenda?

CES 2017 - Recap in a Nutshell

LAKANA Holiday Cheers, our teams in St. Paul and Los Angeles, celebrated the holidays together toasting in the New Year in two separate events.

Los Angeles-based LAKANA and Kixer teams got their game on at the Staples Center downtown LA and watched the Lakers take on the New York Knicks. In St Paul, teams enjoyed a celebratory dinner hosted at St. Paul's Como Conservatory featured our own resident copy chief and Santa Claus extraordinaire, J. Scott Wilson. Scott is a natural-beard Santa and has worn the Big Red Suit for nearly a decade. He appears at charity events and "Brunch with Santa" at restaurants in the Charlotte, N.C., area. The party also featured a murder mystery event hosted by a local improv group.

(Scott Wilson, Steve Cope, Elizabeth Osder, David Purcell, Kirstin Purcell)


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