Monday, 10 December 2007

Reuters and International Herald Tribune in content deal

Jeff Jarvis observes:

The Reuters deal to provide business content to the International Herald Tribune online and in print — and share revenue with associated advertising — could, I think, be a model for other news organizationst to take care of commodity news.

As an idea, it's certainly not new. How many newspapers compile their own TV listings, crosswords and so on? It's a ridiculous idea.

On the other hand, when we think about these kinds of deals online all kinds of other issues come into play.

Will this material appear in a Google Search of the IHT?
If so, will it be penalised for duplicate content?
If not, what's it worth?

On the plus side, with unlimited space available on your website, why not squeeze in every bit of content you can get your hands on? Especially if your only cost is giving away some of the additional ad revenue (assuming you can't meet the demands for advertising).

On the other hand, how will it be branded? if it's branded Reuters rather than IHT, is that a good thing or not?

I once worked on a (paper)magazine where we looked at outsourcing a section very akin to a business section to an online specialist title we also owned.

On paper it looked irresistible. Their specialisation meant they could do a far better job than we ever could, but on balance we decided against it on the basis that it looked like something of an admission of defeat on our part.

Were we right? I don't know.

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