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  • Survey Says…Do Publishers Look to Brand Licensing as a Revenue Stream?

Survey Says…Do Publishers Look to Brand Licensing as a Revenue Stream?

Published on 6/30/2016 by Brittni Castilaw

When it comes to generating revenue in the media industry, typical revenue sources like advertising, newsstand sales and paid subscriptions may be the most obvious channels, but what else can you do?

How about content licensing?

Content licensing is the process of selling the use of your assets, whether it be your logo, editor’s top pick, badges, award logos or even pull quotes to other brands.

To look at the publishing industry as a whole and understand the role that content licensing can play, we partnered with Folio: to conduct a short survey of 261 media companies across all media sectors.

One surprising takeaway - the survey found that relatively few publishers (about 28 percent) are embracing brand licensing as a reliable revenue stream.

While there are a number of reasons that publishers haven’t explored this alternative revenue channel, data indicate that some simply don’t understand content licensing, while others see the costs far outweighing the revenue they believe they can generate from these efforts.

One respondent states “we do not feel the potential income is significantly greater than the amount of revenue it would take to generate that income.”

It’s something that we hear all too often. Brian Kolb, COO of Wright’s Media, states that this is a common misconception among publishers.

“They believe they have to keep it all in-house and hire a staff to manage any licensing program,” he says. “Our partners understand that content licensing is an art form that we have spent years perfecting.”

The survey also showed that out of the 33 percent of respondents with an existing awards program, less than half currently monetize their assets.

Understanding that your brand has value is one of the most significant pieces of this puzzle. Kolb states, “Every time you give away your content assets or logo for free, you are slowly chipping away at the brand value you’ve spent so much time creating.”

When people are asking for your brand to leverage theirs, you’ve got an opportunity. Simply allowing them to leverage your brand is missed revenue.

Most surprisingly, the survey indicates that only 21 percent of publishers have changed their business models to embrace content licensing. “Publishers change their business models to keep up with changes in their audience and in technology, yet nearly 80 percent of respondents haven’t changed their model to maximize revenue from content licensing,” adds Kolb. “A well-crafted licensing strategy doesn’t create pennies in your pocket, it generates substantial revenue that flows straight to your bottom line.”

When we start conversations with publishers who are interested in generating revenue from content licensing, they usually don’t have the staff or the experience to put together an effective strategy on their own.

That’s when it makes sense to partner with a content licensing agency. Don’t leave money on the table - start taking advantage of this revenue stream while promoting your brand.

Publisher Infographic