Publish2 bids to disrupt content syndication with News Exchange service
Publish2 CEO Scott Karp has bold plans: He wants to “disrupt the AP’s monopoly over news distribution.” His latest weapon is the Publish2 News Exchange, a new service that will enable newspapers and other content providers to share content across digital and print channels.
At the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York, Karp detailed his company’s plans to give newspapers and other digital content providers an alternative to the Associated Press, the 164-year-old global news cooperative.
“News Exchange is a peer-to-peer marketplace where content providers decide how they want to distribute their content, on their terms,” Karp said in an interview. “We’re enabling newspapers to share content directly, at scale.”
News Exchange, an extension of Publish2’s existing link-sharing service, also provides an opportunity for digital pure-play content creators to raise their profiles by getting their bylines published in major dailies. Karp claims that’s a winning proposition for both sides.
“Digital content creators can leverage the brand equity newspapers already have to build their own brands,” he said. “And the news brands have a bridge into a digital future. We will help them drive value now as they evolve.”
Initially, the News Exchange will enable newspapers and content providers to freely exchange content, with no fees to Publish2. Newspapers can also use the service to extend existing paid content relationships through a “white list” feature in which a publisher defines who has access to its content.
As the platform scales, Publish2 will begin charging for its service in two ways: for paid content, it will take a portion of the revenue. For free content, it will charge a software licensing fee. Karp wouldn’t specify what Publish2’s cut would be, saying “the market will decide what percentage we charge.”
Karp also has a potentially more lucrative prize in mind: Advertising. He said Publish2 will explore partnerships with ad network companies to broker advertising across the network.
“There’s a tidal wave of advertising dollars coming into digital that will seek out the highest quality brands,” he said. “If you have a network of the best newspaper brands and vibrant digital brands, that’s a magnet for all of that national brand advertising.”
One feature of News Exchange that fell under the radar at TechCrunch is a story ideas database – basically an RFP for story assignments. Editors can post a request for coverage; other members can respond with an existing article or a commitment to write something.
It’s a good way for resource-constrained editors to pool resources to increase the breadth of coverage. “They can say we can’t cover this story ourselves, but if someone else is covering it, we will run it,” Karp said. “Editors at other publications can see that request and ask for the story as well.”
Here’s the demo that Karp gave at TechCrunch Disrupt: