Content monetization: News licensing and syndication still need marketplaces and infrastructure

1Executive Summary

Publishers’ lack of strategic focus on licensing and syndication today is matched by nearly equal indifference from software developers, entrepreneurs, and investors. Millions of investment dollars and countless development hours have gone into creating online advertising tools, readership analytics, and aggregation engines. But comparatively little has gone into developing the sort of tools, APIs, metrics, or exchanges that might have aided the emergence of a content licensing and paid syndication business online.

Key highlights in this report include:

  • For publishers, the first step to monetizing something is to be able to measure it. The analytics tools now available make it possible to track the spread of content on social platforms closely.
  • Until now there has not been a marketplace where those potential buyers and sellers of content could meet. Nor were there adequate tools to enable verifiable transactions between them. Tools like Cascade and Ricochet are helping put the foundations of such a market in place.
  • Both publishers and licensees will need to seize the sort of ad hoc syndication opportunities that arise online and on social media networks. One of the major tasks facing publishers over the next three to five years will be to structure their repositories of content so they can be searched, sorted, customized, repackaged, and accessed in real time via standardized APIs.
Relevant Analyst

Paul Sweeting

Principal Concurrent Media Strategies

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