Since Canadian Economic Press, otherwise known as CEP News, died (or took on yet another new identity perhaps), my curiosity about its American doppelganger, NTKN or Need to Know News, has been piqued. My basic thesis is and always has been that neither CEP nor NTKN are in the news business, but rather they are up to something else. I had also always believed that NTKN was the bigger of the two operations, a premise I now suspect was completely backwards and based on my Canadian cultural assuumptions that if it’s American, it must be bigger.
I discovered this latest size factoid thanks to some ads I have been running trying to get to the bottom of this whole story. The information I have received about impressions for my target keywords shows that NTKN, its Lightning Bolt news service and Scream Audio, get almost no search traffic. In other words, no one searches for these terms, which almost certainly means that no one uses NTKN, Lightning Bolt or Audio Scream, so just like CEP News, with its lack of paying customers and large well-funded news operation, NTKN would seem to be some sort of front.
But front for what? I’ve never believed it’s all a ruse to get into lock-ups as lock-ups are pretty well policed. I used to think it was about Forex trading but I’m currently leaning away from that theory.
One thing’s for sure though: it seems to be a pretty easy formula to copy with a little bit of cash. My theory is that NTKN was the first in on this mystery business, then someone in the CEP gang figured out what NTKN doing and copied it, and Bratislava-based World Business Press Online is yet another knockoff of the same model whatever it is.
Please send all tips my way at ann dot brocklehurst at gmail dot com