Clement Charles

Clement Charles 's thoughts
April 11th, 2012 by Clement Charles

Resell content… To produce more content

In this time of economic and industrial pressure on newspapers and magazines, the search for a financial and sustainable equilibrium in the digital landscape is a necessary imperative for all. In that logic, resell a part of intellectual propriety right after publication can be a very interesting low risk path.

It is not complicated to observe that most of the printed titles have a unilateral production process, which goes only one way, from production to broadcasting the content on various platforms to end as an archive, which is generally unused. Doing so, publishers are losing complementary income which could be generated by the reselling of those rights to other media.

To engage this type of process, the first thing to do is to have the adequate contracts with the journalists and the others creative within the production chain, that allow an integral session of the rights of the produced work, in addition to the usage in the salary given to the media, the rights to resell, to adapt and to translate the content. Of course, the content of agencies cannot be included in this lot and articles which are just adding a few words to star provided by news agency could not be redistributed.

On the basis of a solid and extensive property of the rights, the corporation then has to define its strategy of distribution by finding the right equilibrium between the generating new opportunities and the risk of cannibalization of its historical footprint. This last one can be considered as the combination of the physical zone of broadcasting of the media, of the language of the contents and of the topics which are treated by the publication.

The content in a language coming from a publisher limited to a single territory can be monetized in many other languages or in many other not competing territories, in many other types of media platforms, while limiting at the same time at the maximum risks of impacting the revenue related to the circulation of the original publication.

This strategy can definitely contribute to solve the vicious circle from which the Swiss and European press for more than a decade suffers. Indeed, media have, at the same time, less resource to pay their staffs while having lot more broadcasting outlets to fill up in a world with an increasing complexity. This naturally leads to lower quality services, thus less success, thus less revenue, thus less resource.

Generated new revenue without increasing the existing costs allows to find positive solutions to this paradox. Royalties generated by the sales of the contents allow to increase the quantity and\or the quality of the production resources, which engage and increase the relevance of the produced contents, thus of the audience and finally of the revenue. In that case, the virtuous circle is engaged. Those resources are enabling the creation of more original contents, truly in line with the identity of the media, and thus, with the value expectations of his historical target group.

Potential clients are not only media companies. In addition to be able to be provided all kind of current digital platforms (mobile, Web, DOOH) or coming platforms (interactive kiosks, games consoles, in – flight / in car entertainment), rights “distributed” could also be acquire by companies and institutions, which are always using more content to create added value for their clients, in their internal magazines, their newsletters or their corporate communications.

In bonus, with this distribution process, the media gives to its brand and its journalists, new opportunities of international visibility and in various kind of supports. Beyond revenues, a bit more fame is always a good thing. If we accept the idea that the Swiss press will not be saved by the government, by the corporation or by the iPad, the press will need to save itself, which is, at the same time, more exciting, more honorable and more poetic. In this logic, the redistribution of content will surly be one of the methods to get there.

 Clement Charles


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