How We Streamlined MSN's Professional Photo Newsroom

In MSN's newsroom, images must be sourced, optimized & produced at the speed of news. We built them a scalable solution worthy of the task.

The Problem

MSN needed to increase the speed and efficiency of its photo editing operations while meeting demanding standards for image quality.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

With over 415 million visits per month, MSN is one of the top 100 websites in the world. Readers come to the site to stay up to date with the latest stories in politics, sports, and culture – not just to read the content that matters to them, but to view the compelling images that bring the news to life.

MSN’s photo editing team was struggling to source and optimize these images at the break-neck pace of the global news cycle – all while meeting a demanding (and evolving) set of requirements for image quality, sizing, licensing, and reader engagement. MSN needed to augment its photo editing capacity to handle this intense workload, but they didn’t want to assemble a full-time team or assign the work to an expensive agency.

Our Solution

Filter built a scalable, 24/7 newsroom of photo editing experts to license, size and optimize images for all of MSN’s channel partners.

Eye-catching photos, around the clock.

Filter built a 24/7 newsroom of top-tier photo editors to cover national, world and breaking news. Our scalable team worked alternating shifts in New York and Seattle, operating under tight deadlines to license, size and optimize images for all of MSN’s channel partners. With photojournalism experience at publications like TimeNational Geographic and The Washington Post, the Filterati brought to the program not just the technical mastery but also the news savvy to find and showcase the perfect images for each story.

We designed a highly efficient workflow that streamlined the acquisition and processing of images, enabling us to source roughly 12,000 images per month via providers such as AP, Reuters, Getty and USA Today. For images that were automatically uploaded and cropped via MSN’s content management system, the Filter team frequently added slide shows and photo collections designed to improve user experience.

The Results

Filter’s customized program facilitated a 36% reduction in cost-per-image and a 25% increase in overall productivity over time.

Keeping the images coming – for less.

The Filterati played integral role in supporting this world-class news operation, increasing productivity while meeting MSN’s rigorous standards for photo quality. By increasing throughput and offering a competitive PPI model, we facilitated a 36% reduction in cost per-image and a 25% increase in overall productivity over time. 


“Over the years, the team has contracted and expanded as our business needs change. I have always been impressed with the people Filter hires – high-caliber professionals, a sense of humor to get through crazy shifts in the newsroom, and limitless creativity. MSN has had a long and positive experience working with an outsourced team managed by Filter." 

Kathy Henwood, Content Project Manager, Microsoft

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