Are Brands Robbing Publishers for Profits?

This week I had the opportunity to speak at the Exceptional Women in Publishing Conference about new revenue models in publishing. As I was preparing for the conference I was doing some research and found myself fascinated with the newest trend in publishing… publishing.

Imagine that. Some of the world’s hottest brands in new media like Snapchat are turning to traditional publishers to help them attract a strong and loyal consumer base. Not only that, but they are leveraging publishers to help them monetize their organization with new products like “Discover.” Today’s “staple” sites like Facebook are announcing new ways to become the infrastructure for publishers’ works. And, even traditional publishing companies like Conde Nast are embracing publishing with an even tighter grip through new communication mediums like video with The Scene.

Just when you thought traditional publishing had seen the end of its glory days, the entire industry is enjoying a rebirth of sorts. Innovation has spawned new demands on the publishing industry to create new revenue models for themselves and these new innovations are motivating other companies as well. Gone are the days of debating over whether a pay wall makes sense or not, and here to stay are the days where content distribution reigns king and oversees a kingdom of multi-faceted mechanisms, apps, and channels.

Publishers that are flourishing in today’s world are doing so because they have remained true to their roots – a commitment to high-quality journalism, entertainment, and news with a twist. Today publishers are leveraging more and more avenues for distribution. They can now reach more people, in more ways native to the brand or content fan. We’re finally seeing the crossroads between content and technology that just five years ago wasn’t possible. It’s exciting.

Topping the charts of some ways in which publishers are monetizing their brands today are:

  • Allow programmatic platforms to pick up remnant space on your site
  • Syndication
  • Sponsored content
  • Selling aggregate advertising data
  • Selling services around the content that you publish
  • Virtual events
  • In-kind partnerships

Integrated into their successes, and supplying much of the revenue, are top brands. Without them, publishers would be in a real pickle. So where does that leave us? Are publishers leveraging their content in new ways to attract customers and brands, or are brands leveraging publisher content to help them monetize and profit?

If you think about it, this new world of convergence enables publishers and leverages the strength of one another to flourish. It will be interesting to see what the next three to five years brings to light as these two entities continue to evolve.

Image via Shutterstock.

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