Uncommon Wisdom

Jul 24 2009   12:36PM GMT

Content trends include emphasis on revenue-sharing

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

Over a thousand publishers have banded together in an organization aimed at insuring they receive reasonable returns on their publishing investment, particularly from news and editorial content creation. The Fair Syndication Consortium includes giants like The New York Times and The Washington Post, and more than 50% of the top news publishers, according to its spokesperson.

The group will look for places where content is syndicated and “contact” the sites to encourage revenue-sharing, presumably with the goal of then taking legal action if no deal is forthcoming. The formation of a trade group like this is an admission that regulators are unlikely to do anything and that portals and other sites that repurpose content probably won’t do anything voluntarily either.

The question is how effective this can be, given that some content skimming takes place where there are no commercial treaties. It does show that content producers are seeing “aggregators” as being more profit-skimmers than partners, which raises the stakes for online portals and even search engines. Disney is also looking at a pay/subscription plan for online content, so it looks like models beyond ad sponsorship may be finally emerging in video.

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