| Customized News Retrieval Service to start Operation in Japan ---Joint Venture brings together Japanese Companies and Individual, Inc. of U.S.
11 June, 1996
TOKYO -- NewsWatch, Inc., a joint venture of Toshiba Corporation, Individual, Inc., the Massachusetts-based customized news service company, and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. today announced that it will start business operations on June 12. The company will deliver customized news packages to corporate managers, executives and other service subscribers via electronic mail and other means, based on content filtering and analysis of digitized versions of articles in daily newspapers, magazines, periodicals and the wire services.
NewsWatch was established on April 26 in Tokyo by Toshiba Corporation, with an initial paid-up capital of ¥100 million. Individual and Mitsui & Co., invested a further ¥100 million and ¥25 million, respectively, on May 31, raising the total capital of the joint venture to ¥225 million.
NewsWatch brings together Individual's advanced technologies and business expertise in customized news filtering and retrieval, Toshiba's innovative information filtering technology and natural language processing technology -- capabilities that allowed the company to develop the Japanese-language word processor and machine translation system -- and Mitsui & Co's expertise in marketing information services.
News Collection and Selection
Every day, information providers under contract to NewsWatch, including newspapers, magazines and other publications, provide the company with digitized versions of their articles. Each article is analyzed by artificial intelligence software, which investigates such factors as frequency of terms, phrases and expressions contained in individual profiles, their location in the article and their syntactical and semantic roles. Results are then matched against subscriber profiles. Each analyzed article is given a priority, so only articles with a high correspondence to a given profile will be selected and delivered to that subscriber.
Subscriber profiles can be fine-tuned to modify or enhance article selection, as necessary, by analyzing subscriber satisfaction with the service and incorporating the results into the profiles.
Types of Services and Fees
"Economy" service provides 1,250 full-text and 2,500 in-brief articles a year and costs ¥600,000; "Standard" service provides 2,250 full-text services and 1,500 in- brief articles and costs ¥1,000,000. Brief service alone is available at ¥60,000 per year.
An English-language service based on articles covered by Individual, Inc. is also available on request.
NewsWatch's initial coverage will be of electronics, including multimedia, information systems, telecommunications and semiconductors. It will be expanded to cover finance, distribution and the environment.
Outline of Individual, Inc
|Information in the press releases, including product prices and specifications, content of services and contact information, is current on the date of the press announcement,but is subject to change without prior notice.|