PPA Festival 2019 – NLA brief publishers on new ways to monetise their content

NLA media access recently hosted a roundtable at The PPA festival – the magazine industry’s biggest event of the year. The day-long festival concentrates on the challenges and opportunities facing consumer magazine and business media brands today.  

NLA’s roundtable focused on one of the major issues facing the magazine industry today: monetisation. In an increasingly digital world, publishers have been grappling with new ways to profit from their content while ensuring they are protecting this content from copyright infringement.

Publisher representatives from leading brands and industry experts joined the session, to learn more about NLA’s growing suite of ‘publisher services’, with discussions taking place on paywalls, text aggregators, online article tracking and crawler management. Attendees left the session with plenty of new opportunities and ideas to consider.

The discussion on paywalls – something an increasing number of magazines are exploring – focussed on how NLA can ensure media monitoring organisations can still carry out their vital work and maximise licensing royalties through its database product ‘eClips Web Specialist’ – generating new revenues for Incisive Media, Faversham House and William Reed amongst others. Considering the impact on the media monitoring industry is important for any magazine publisher when deciding on how to implement at paywall.

Text aggregators can provide a useful additional revenue stream for magazines, and this provoked the most discussion during the session. Under commercial agreement, one of the ways in which text aggregators can use publisher’s content is to store such content in a searchable archive and pay royalties on access. In order to improve transparency and visibility over how publishers’ content is being used in the text aggregator market, NLA has set up a new initiative following publisher demand: Agent for Publishers. This provides NLA the mandate to effectively manage the text aggregators on a publisher’s behalf and ensure their content distribution is adequately controlled, with transparency given over content usage. Some attendees’ spoke of the unwanted overheads in managing text aggregators directly, and others spoke about historic deals they had since lost track of, so the option of utilising NLA’s expertise in this area was appealing. Through this service, NLA have also been able to distribute magazine content to new aggregators that they had not previously been working with, thus increasing revenues.

As we’ve discussed on the blog before, through its online article tracking tool ‘OATS’, NLA are able to track where magazine content has been lifted from publisher websites and re-purposed across the internet, detect copyright abuse, and have the infringing content removed. This technology helped remove over 89,400 infringing articles in 2018; protecting publishers content online and preventing further loss of revenue. Few publishers are able, or have the bandwidth, to track this in house and there is an increasing number of publishers using NLA for this service.

NLA closed the roundtable by introducing a new and developing service, ‘Crawler Management’. Across the internet, web crawlers (also known as spiders, bots or crawlers) are being used to systematically browse the web and monetise publishers content. NLA are offering to work with magazine publishers to help build ‘whitelists’ and ‘blacklists’ of good/bad bots – and hopefully turn a ‘good’ bot into a revenue opportunity through NLA’s licensing scheme and make sure ‘bad’ bots are blocked from magazine websites. Initial studies have already exposed new revenues for publishers.

Owen Meredith, Managing Director of PPA, said: “We were delighted NLA media access could support PPA Festival and share vital knowledge of how their publisher services can help boost the bottom line.”

NLA media access is continuously striving to support journalism by helping publishers expand their revenues and protect their content. As such we are delighted to have been shortlisted for ‘Industry Partner of the Year’ at the 2019 PPA Awards. See the full shortlist here