Succesful Content Syndication and Aggregation Strategies

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smwest_logoI’m at the Streaming Media West conference today in San Jose, CA and thought I would attempt some live blogging from this morning’s session titled, “Successful Content Syndication and Aggregation Strategies.” The description for this session is:

“… new ways content owners and site developers are aggregating content and distributing it on the web. See examples of ways to develop niche vertical sites without significantly expanding staffing, and discuss how to reach audiences on social networking sites like Facebook. Learn about some of the new emerging platforms for niche video distribution and best practices for increasing your chances of making money with your content.”

syndicationThe moderator is Jim Louderback, CEO of Revision3 and the following are presenters:

  • Brett Wilson, Co-Founder, CEO, TubeMogul
  • Vanessa Pappas, Director, Audience and Strategic Partnerships, Next New Networks
  • Tom Gorke, VP, Digital Distribution, MTV Networks
  • Brandon White, Interactive Manager, FUNimation Entertainment

Alright, so here we go… Jim starts out by asking Brett Wilson –

Why syndicate at all?

Brett tells us that although syndication has become more difficult as of late due to more and more content being created, but main reason for syndication is that “There are places online where people watch content, they cant always go to you, and you want to be where they are.”

The other panelists also confirm this as a primary reason for syndication along with monetization strategies.

What about paid vs. free distribution?

Brett says that for the best campaigns, companies are doing both.  He highlights a recent marketing campaign for Microsoft Windows 7 where he talks about them getting 5.5 million views for their launch party videos.  “They went both the paid route and the free/organic route.”

For Next New Networks, Vanessa says that most of their content is free distribution, but with advertisers that want to extend reach, they sometimes do incorporate paid distribution via Google.  For the most part however, they do not charge for distribution of their content.

For MTV networks, Tom says that for the most part, content syndication is via content partnerships which encompasses both paid and free models.

“It comes down to different use-cases.  People do want different stuff, on different screens.  The biggest driver behind the paid stuff is portability (i.e. mobile/itunes/etc…)”

And on to YouTube…  Why would anyone want to syndicate beyond YouTube?

Vanessa says – “If you are not on YouTube, I think that you need to re-think your strategy.”

Brett Wilson talks about a study where they measured video views distributed to YouTube only vs. YouTube + other networks.  According to Brett, there was a 100% increase when videos were distributed beyond just YouTube.

What is the next best place to syndication content?

Brandon = Hulu…  He says, “ask your audience.”

Tom = Hulu, Fancast – sites that are more television focused…

“There is no one answer…  Depends on the type of content and the demographic for that content.”

Vanessa – “I reiterate everything Tom said.” ;-)

What are the best sources for automating syndication?

Brandon, who is a TubeMogul customer, mentions that there is not a great way to get around the fact that each site has different formats, different meta data, etc…

Jim Louderback mentions that in addition to using TubeMogul for automated uploads, they often go directly into sites like YouTube to enhance metadata as there are limitations with automated syndication.

Tom talks about the fact that their team syndicates to hundreds of websites via internal processes.  They have the resources to manage distribution automatically and they are happy to have control of distribution in-house.  Apparently, even with this internal process, they do not create multiple types of XML feeds.  They try to keep things fairly standardized and before they enter content distribution partnerships, they work with their partners to be able to accept their XML feeds.

Brett says that in the future, TubeMogul is going to try to power syndication beyond the typical high-value video sharing and social media websites.  They are going to power syndication feeds for “hyper-syndication.”  That will be interesting to see if you ask me.

And, of course – its almost the end, and my internet connection is going going….  Hope there were a few good tidbits for you all… gone.


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