On Second Thought …
With many magazine publishers struggling to offset ad revenue declines, reprints and content licensing have become even more important to the bottom line. Making them even more attractive is that generating revenue in this area can take very little time or financial investment. In some respects, it's viewed as free money.
"We hadn't been doing much with reprints, and I really saw a lot of missed opportunity there," says Rachael Poirier, marketing manager for AutoWeek. "[Our reprints partner (Wright's Reprints)] recognized there was so much more we could do with our content to bring in incremental revenue. They helped us identify new revenue streams as far as licensing and permissions, doing special reprints, and being able to offer new pieces for our readers."
Anne-Sophie Ribault, chief marketing officer at SharedXpertise Media (formerly Crossing Media), which publishes HRO Today, HRO Europe, FAO Today and CRO magazines and works with reprints provider Foster Printing Service, agrees: "For most publishers, I think it's an ancillary product. We don't publish to resell. … So, to me, … it's money that comes by itself."
The Search Begins
Reprints/licensing sales are often outsourced by publishers. Many simply don't have the time and resources to effectively serve their customers' needs in this area. Therefore, finding the right outsource partner becomes critical.
"It's essential that a licensing representative understands the value of your brand and the … opportunities it offers in the exploitation of your content," says Bill Daniels, COO of Laptop, who cites the company's relationship with its reprints partner (Wright's) as a major factor in its brand expansion and frequent use of its logo over the past two years.
Finding the partner goes beyond identifying the one with the cheapest rates (most charge commissions on sales, but no up-front costs), although the financial arrangement is certainly a factor. Others include finding a company that is proactive in searching out leads for sales and that is willing to explore new ways to help expand your brand.