“Netflix for News”: ASMSU Brings Readership Program to Mobile App

Michigan State University Associated Students, or ASMSU, has launched a collaboration with a news app called Spotlight to give MSU students free access to more than 200 news publications.

“Spotlight is a service that I best describe as a one-stop shop for news,” said ASMSU Chief of Staff Jack Harrison. “In many ways, it’s kind of like the Netflix equivalent for news.”

The app is an extension of the Readership Service provided by ASMSU which offers students free subscriptions to publications such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today when they log in with their credentials. MSU. The Spotlight Partnership was purchased using the $21 per semester fee that ASTMU charges students, said ASTMU Vice President for Finance and Operations Vipul Adusumilli.

“We’re very intentional with our budget in ASMSU,” Harrison said. “We are always looking to find and offer the best and most useful services to our students and I think this is a great addition to the many services we offer, especially our reading service.”

Initially, the readership program used individual contracts with individual vendors.

“I learned this summer how tedious the contracting process with an external vendor is, especially through ASMSU, as it has to go through three rounds of approval,” Adusumilli said. “So one thing that appealed to me (about Spotlight) was that we only had to negotiate with one vendor and all the sources of information were already there.”

Harrison said the intent of the Spotlight partnership was to make information more accessible to students.

“I also think there’s a really good educational component…it’s a really good service to connect students to what’s going on,” Harrison said.

Spotlight is similar to Apple or Google News, but has more publications available, Adusumilli said.

“You can follow local news, state news, federal news, and international news in the same area, which I think is very unique and helps students navigate…especially in this when it comes to politics,” Adusumilli said. “Even though it’s the same topic, we know different sources report it differently.”

Within the app, users can customize their news feed based on their topics of interest, favorite posts, and favorite authors. Additionally, the Explore tab allows users to discover new articles and publishers.

“It’s the new way of seeing the news…I would say it’s the forefront of readership going forward, in general, because all the resources are in one place,” Adusumilli said. .

Harrison said students should share Spotlight when using it to raise awareness of the service.

“We always want to hear from students what services can we add, what services can we promote, how can we also help you know what services we have…that’s why we’re here,” Harrison said.

The Spotlight News app can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

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