One of the UK’s biggest publishing groups has developed a new content hub designed to make it easier for other publishers and brands to license its magazine and web content. Future Publishing hopes the dedicated resource will give it an advantage in growing its licensing and syndication revenues.
- Founded in 1985, Future Publishing is one of the UK’s biggest publishing groups and the country’s biggest licensor of magazine and web content. The company boasts a ‘strong print licensing revenue stream’ with a total of 96 print licensing agreements across 28 countries.
- The new Content Hub is a dedicated website hosting over 340,000 articles, images and feature stories available for licensing and syndication. Content is available in 12 categories from health and beauty to sport and music.
The content hub supports opportunities in:
- Magazines, helping publishers build new monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly brands in their own markets.
- Bookazines, facilitating regular, stand-alone titles across a wide range of subject areas.
- Content syndication, delivering high-value, relevant content to bolster the success of existing publications.
“Future Content Hub is a fantastic opportunity for us to grow Future’s syndication footprint,” said Head of Print Licensing, Rachel Shaw. “The website will help us to maximise the reach and value of our content editorially and commercially.”
What is licensing and syndication?
- Licensing and syndication give publishers access to top-tier branding and content at a discount. The original content syndication business, McClure, started almost 140 years ago in the US, representing authors as varied as Teddy Roosevelt and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
- The syndication model is simple, allowing content creators to sell their work multiple times across different regions or territories. This means they can maintain profitability while charging publishers less than it would cost to create the content for themselves.
- Similarly, licensing the rights to an established publishing brand lets publishers enter a market quickly with the clout of an established publication. This is the model that sits under the 25+ international editions and vast array of brand extensions for Conde Nast’s world-famous fashion publication Vogue.
Emerging business model
Information giants like Future, Conde Nast and Meredith Corp – second only to Walt Disney in the global licensing stakes – have seen huge success in licensing and syndication. This highlights a growing belief that syndication is a strong business model for the internet age.
A 2020 article in the Harvard Business Review explains that everything on the Internet takes the form of information. There are millions of potential distribution points for users and, as the Internet economy grows, syndication will grow with it as ‘the underlying structure’ of business.
Author Kevin Werbach says, in such an environment, syndication becomes inescapable and that, “virtually any organization can benefit from syndication, often in several different ways if it’s willing to view itself as part of a larger, interconnected world rather than seeking exclusive control at every turn.”
He goes on, “Those that best understand the dynamics of syndication—that can position themselves in the most lucrative nodes of syndication networks—will be the ones that thrive in the Internet era.”