Mediastack API Review – Global News Data Insights at an Affordable Price

Whether you’re in the news business or your company relies on news data to hone its competitive edge, the Mediastack API is well-worth your consideration. It’s an affordable alternative to more expensive news data aggregators, and is readily available for integration within virtually any platform. Even if you’re not a tech wizard, Mediastack is simple to use, yet promises robust functionality tapping into tens of thousands of news sources all over the world.

So Apilayer’s newest product looks great on paper, but does Mediastack hold up in practice? We take a closer look at both in today’s complete Mediastack review.

Mediastack Review

Mediastack’s elevator pitch

Mediastack makes it a cinch to get the news data your business needs to thrive. With access to over 75,000 news sources across 50 countries in 13 languages, Mediastack enables truly global perspectives with its robust API. Infinitely scalable cloud-based infrastructure provides nearly perfect uptime whether you’re a sole proprietorship or at the enterprise scale. Try it out absolutely free–there’s no obligation to upgrade, and you get full access to Mediastack’s expansive resource network. If you’re ever in need of assistance, check out their various documentation pages, or reach out to Apilayer’s expert support team to make integration a breeze.

Getting started with Mediastack (Review)

Apilayer is one of those companies that relies on the strength of its product offerings to earn your business, rather than shady high-pressure sales tactics. As such, we recommend you get started with Mediastack through its Free subscription tier. This way, you can snag your API key and immediately begin poking around to decide for yourself whether it’s worth upgrading.

First, click the big, blue SIGN UP FREE button at the top right of any page on the Mediastack website, then click SIGN UP under the “Free” product. As with anything, you’ll have to create your account credentials, but you’re not obligated to do anything more than that.

Once you’ve done that, you’re in! Apilayer never asks for bank or credit card payment information on Free plans for any of their products. That means no trial periods to forget about, nor sudden unwanted billings. You’re always in the driver’s seat, with full control over when and how you upgrade or downgrade your account.

Dashboard

Once you’ve claimed your Mediastack account, take some time to familiarize yourself with the Dashboard. So long as you’re logged in, you’ll always find the link to your Dashboard in the top-right of Mediastack’s website. Click it to navigate to the main Dashboard page. Here, you’ll find all the most important information related to your account in brief.

Notifications signaling any changes to your account or Mediastack itself appear at the top of the page. Immediately below are two handy links to the Mediastack 3-Step Quickstart Guide, as well as the API Documentation.

Mediastack - REST API for Live News

Next, you’ll find your API access key, which is the critical component needed to integrate the Mediastack API into your app or site. If you ever suspect the security of your key has been compromised, you can instantly generate a new key by clicking the “Reset” that appears here.

Finally, there’s a quick view of your important account settings. Here, you can monitor your current total monthly API requests against the quota allotted by your subscription tier. Additionally, you can view your payment methods, billing period, and total amount due.

Menu Options

In addition to the main page, your Dashboard consists of several menu options on the sidebar. For the most part, these represent similar information as found on the main page, though in greater detail.

  • Upgrade/Subscription Plan – These two options are essentially the same thing, which is to change the subscription tier associated with your account. We delve into the pricing schema later in this review, but just keep one thing in mind for now: Apilayer enables you to upgrade or downgrade whenever you want, absolutely no questions asked.
  • Account – Here’s where you can change all of your personal and/or business credentials, including contact information and passwords. Additionally, the Account menu option is where you can manage your notifications and email invoice preferences.
  • Payment – This is where you can manage your payment methods, which can include credit card, PayPal, or bank transfer at higher tiers. Paying users can also view their invoices below.
  • API Usage – Once again, we have a menu option which largely displays information similar to the default Dashboard page. However, in addition to your monthly API request quota, you can view your request statistics for greater insight into your Mediastack usage.

Using Mediastack

If Apilayer does one thing well, it’s provide developers with clear, concise documentation with everything you need to implement and use Mediastack. Don’t take our word for it, check out their Documentation page for yourself.

However, if you’re just looking for the major bullet points on what you can do with Mediastack, stick with us as we run through the blow-by-blow below.

Keep in mind, we assume you have a basic understanding of what an API is and does, plus how to handle authentication and make calls. If this isn’t the case, we strongly suggest you check out Mediastack’s 3-Step Quickstart Guide.

Mediastack main features

In a nutshell, Mediastack is used to retrieve metadata on news stories and sources alike. Depending on your subscription tier, you can parse current news data in real time as well as historical records. When you make a request to the Mediastack API, you’re tapping into a vast network of resources spanning the globe for the most exhaustive results available.

From the Mediastack Documentation, here’s a sample API request:

https://api.mediastack.com/v1/news
    ? access_key = YOUR_ACCESS_KEY
    & keywords = tennis
    & countries = us, gb, de

And what one of its responses might look like:

{
    "pagination": {
        "limit": 100,
        "offset": 0,
        "count": 100,
        "total": 293
    },
    "data": [
        {
            "author": "TMZ Staff",
            "title": "Rafael Nadal Pulls Out Of U.S. Open Over COVID-19 Concerns",
            "description": "Rafael Nadal is officially OUT of the U.S. Open ... the tennis legend said Tuesday it's just too damn unsafe for him to travel to America during the COVID-19 pandemic. "The situation is very complicated worldwide," Nadal wrote in a statement. "The…",
            "url": "https://www.tmz.com/2020/08/04/rafael-nadal-us-open-tennis-covid-19-concerns/",
            "source": "TMZ.com",
            "image": "https://imagez.tmz.com/image/fa/4by3/2020/08/04/fad55ee236fc4033ba324e941bb8c8b7_md.jpg",
            "category": "general",
            "language": "en",
            "country": "us",
            "published_at": "2020-08-05T05:47:24+00:00"
        },
        [...]
    ]
}

By appending the /news endpoint to your API request, you have instant access to a veritable treasure trove of news data. Of course, you’ll probably want to narrow your results down just a tad. In that case, Apilayer makes it simple with the following parameters:

Sources

With this parameter, you can limit your results solely to the news sources you specify. For example, you might only want the BBC’s take on the day’s news, in which case you’d include & sources = bbc in your request. Alternatively, and additionally, you can filter out specific sources like so: & sources = -fox

Categories

When you’re researching sports coverage, you don’t really need the weather, do you? Using this parameter, you can filter the news by type. Categories include: general, business, entertainment, health, science, sports, technology. And again, you can specifically omit any of these with a in front of the keyword.

Keywords

You’ll probably be using this one a lot, as it allows you to hone in on topical discussions about specific events, people, and ideas. You might want to collect data on new vaccine research for diseases other than the coronavirus. In this case, simply use & keywords = vaccine,-coronvirus,-covid. When used in conjunction with other parameters, you can get highly specific results.

Countries

Mediastack is able to parse news data from over 50 countries (see the list of country codes here). To see breaking news in Austria and Germany but not Switzerland, for example, you’d add & countries = at,de,-ch to your request.

Languages

Using this parameter, you can include or exclude any of Mediastack’s 13 supported languages (Arabic, German, English, Spanish, French, Hebrew, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Chinese).

Organizing your results

When working with potentially a ton of data, you’ll need a meaningful way to sort your results. Mediastack lets you sort by ascending or descending publication dates, as well as by popularity. Additionally, you can adjust the limit of results displayed per page up to 100 results. Finally, you can offset your results to omit, for example, the first 50 results that come up.

With these three parameters, you have an incredible amount of control over how the API returns results to you. This can make the difference between a useless glut of data and a highly precise, relevant, and immediately usable information.

Mediastack paid features

While Mediastack offers a ton of functionality to Free users, there are a few critical features reserved for paying customers. These, of course, are geared towards commercial usage, but are well-worth the investment at any scale.

Encryption

If you’re collecting news data for commercial purposes, you absolutely need to keep security in mind for the sake of your business. Mediastack offers secured connections to its API via 256-bit HTTPS encryption. All you have to do is change http to https in your base request URL, and Mediastack takes care of the rest.

Live news

Unlike the Free subscription tier, in which live news results are on a 30-minute delay, paid users have access to minute-by-minute coverage of all breaking news. There’s no special endpoint or parameter here; once you upgrade your Mediastack account, making a request using the /news endpoint will automatically render real-time results. Simple, yet effective!

Historical news

If you need to dig back into the archives of the Internet and check historical news data, Mediastack lets you do that as well. Just make your request as usual, with all the parameters needed to specify your search requirements, then add & date = YYYY-MM-DD. Additionally, you can specify a date range by adding the second data after a comma.

Integrating Mediastack

Apilayer designs products for everyone, and thus is as inclusive as possible regarding compatibilities. Integration, thus, is easily done through your favorite client or server-side language.

Within their documentation, you’ll find code examples to get you started in PHP, Python, jQuery, Go, and Ruby. If you’re not a coding wizard, you can lean on Mediastack’s expert support to help get the wheels turning–provided you’re on a paid subscription.

Performance

So, how does Mediastack deliver on its promises? After all, it’s one thing to have a globally expansive resource network, and quite another to have an actually stable, useable app.

Addressing stability first, Apilayer is extremely transparent with their uptime for all of their API products. In fact, they have a web app constantly monitoring Mediastack at status.mediastack.com. Go on and click on the link, what do you see? At the time of writing, Mediastack has had 100% uptime since its launch in late Q3 2020. This is how it is across the board for their product line, primarily because they’re all built on the same cloud-based infrastructure.

Of course, Apilayer’s ecosystem offers another benefit beyond uptime: scalability. While it is the youngest of their product lineup, Mediastack already routinely processes millions of API requests per month without seeing any downtime or gaps in service. This means that whatever the scope of your business, you’ll have a cost-effective solution that grows with your needs. Whether it’s just a few thousand requests per month or a custom number deep into six-digit territory, you can count on Mediastack to deliver.

As mentioned previously, Mediastack is a relatively new product offering, and thus still has room to grow. Yes, it already boasts an impressive network of news sources, but it could be even bigger. At present there are some notable gaps in which countries are covered by Mediastack, but Apilayer has a great track record of updating and improving their products.

Pricing

Mediastack API pricing

As we’ve said before, Mediastack is a news data solution absolutely anyone can use. This doesn’t just speak to the API’s ease of use and implementation; Apilayer offers a wide range of subscription tiers so that you only every pay for what you need. Rather than locking you into an expensive one-size-doesn’t-quite-fit-all premium account, you have full control over how your monthly request quota. Here’s how Mediastack’s pricing breaks down:

Free tier

Mediastack’s Free tier is a surprisingly robust sandbox where you can really get to know the API and its capabilities. For the low price of absolutely nothing, you can make up to 500 API calls per month, drawing on Mediastack’s full range of news sources and languages across the globe. You won’t quite get live data, as there’s a 30-minute delay in place, but it should nevertheless prove useful for testing or personal usage. Just make sure you remember the Free tier doesn’t enable commercial usage of Mediastack results.

Paid tiers

Once you’ve decided Mediastack is right for your business, you’ll want to upgrade to a paid subscription tier. Whichever level you choose, you’ll get the same unlimited access to Mediastack’s 7,500+ sources, 50 countries, and 13 available languages. Gone, now, is the restriction on commercial usage, freeing up the rights to a trove of profitable news data. Additionally, minute-by-minute live news data becomes available, as does a dizzying array of easily-sortable historical data. Finally, Apilayer’s world-class technical support stands at the ready to make API integration and troubleshooting a breeze, ensuring maximum uptime for your news data-reliant site or app.

The only meaningful difference between the various paid tiers is the number of calls per month. It breaks down like this:

  • Standard – $24.99/m, $19.99/y
  • Professional – $99.99/m, $79.99/y
  • Business – $249.99/m, $199.99/y

As you can see, there’s a pretty hefty discount if you pay yearly, bring 20% savings relative to monthly payments. You can pay using the following methods:

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • American Express
  • Discover
  • Diner’s Club
  • PayPal

Custom tier

If your business needs for news data exceed the scope of the paid subscription tiers, Apilayer offers customized consulting to make Mediastack meet your requirements. With unlimited cloud-based scalability, custom integrations, and premium technical support, you’ll have a robust solution to meet your goals with aplomb. At this tier, Apilayer accepts bank transfers as an additional payment method.

Conclusion

Whether you’re just starting out or already operating at enterprise scale, you can count on Mediastack to deliver the fast news data you need. With multiple pricing tiers to fit your budget and scope, you’ll find Mediastack the most affordable API of its kind. Even if you’re just looking to dip your toes in, you can try out its cloud-powered performance to tap into veritable treasure troves of data from news sources all over the world–completely free from cost or obligation. If you ever need help along the way, just reach out to Apilayer’s crack team of support experts to guarantee smooth integration and reliable usage.

What do you think of Mediastack? Have you ever used an Apilayer product? How might you make use of an entire world’s worth of news data? Leave us a comment below!

The post Mediastack API Review – Global News Data Insights at an Affordable Price appeared first on TechtricksNg.

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