If you've got content you think other publishers want to buy, what do you need to do to to make it an attractive proposition?
A good example of a successful licencing operations is Bloomberg, which provides content to more than 600 publishers around the world including the Washington Post and Italy's La Repubblica. It also sells content to banks and other organsiations like the US Chamber of Commerce.
Talking to Bloomberg's media licensing and distribution general manager Susan Vobejda, it's clear that while having great content is vital, it's how you deliver it that makes the process scalable and rewarding. What Bloomberg has done is take what it is good at, and package it in a customisable and relevant way.
There are some key lessons you can take from Bloomberg's approach to pushing its content out to clients:
--Customise: Bloomberg has proprietary technology which allows the firm to deliver content feeds to specific specifications. "This is because of years of development of Bloomberg’s metadata and tagging capabilities," says Vobeja.
--Know your partner: Vobejda says: "It is a strategic discussion we have with a potential client upfront, about what their audience is, who their audience is, what their audience needs, what kind of content they are looking for. Are they looking to expand into a new area like video. Then we look at our products and discuss packages."
--Focus on where the demand is: Vobejda says that there is huge and growing demand for video among consumers and businesses, and therefore publishers. "There are many digital publishers around the world who are looking to introduce video content as part of their offering on their websites, but it is expensive to produce premium quality video. We do that and we have launched packages that include business packages, technology packages etc, and packages focussed on specific regions."
--Long haul: "Our model is to work on a licence fee varying on how much content a partner wants to access in a given month. We want to work on a long term basis with our clients, and we know a deal is successful if we do that."
Of course Bloomberg has a host of advantages over most publishers when it comes to licencing. The firm can offer a broader breadth of coverage than almost any other business publisher, with 147 bureaus in 76 countries, and three TV studios in London (pictured above), New York and San Francisco.
But the business news Bloomberg offers isn't especially unique - even if the scoops and quality make it stand out, there are other organisations out there covering the same areas from a similarly business-focussed angle.
What helps make Bloomberg's content especially appealing to partners is the effort put into tagging and packaging the video and text produced. Bloomberg has made it easy for partners to build Bloomberg content into their own sites, and that means they are a lot more likely to pay for it.
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