A License to Sell
Pearson points out that publishers can negotiate for ads to run with licensed content, creating new selling and sponsorship opportunities, or for the inclusion of widgets that invite readers to subscribe to the publication of origin.
“[Something] to keep in mind as we build these businesses out is that you need to think clearly about your pricing strategy, because things online can be worldwide, and you need to be careful about use of content and exclusivity arrangements you may or may not provide,” Lovell advises. “For example, if we were to license [a photo] to MSN or Yahoo, and give them exclusivity to that photo online, that [would conflict with] the online operations of [Better Homes and Gardens] in China, if they wanted to use that same picture online.”
However it’s done, revenue opportunities from content licensing are potentially huge. Publishers need to be aggressive in grabbing this online market, Pearson says, or expect to be hit with some sobering numbers—such as that 57 percent of the unauthorized content found by Attributor has advertising associated with it, or that 64 percent does not have links back to the original Web site. (Some of this reprinted content even ends up ranking higher on Google searches than the original, something Pearson says is particularly galling to Attributor’s publisher clients.)
“From a traffic and revenue perspective,” he says, “there is a huge opportunity for any publisher willing to take a set of content, and go far and wide.”