8 Tips from Publishing Law Attorneys for Content Monetization - Tip #2: Maximizing Your Bottom Line, Getting Started


[author: Lloyd L. Rich]

Over the next several months, we will share eight Publication Law Tips on the subsidiary rights of publishers in different forms and media, frequently referred to as "content monetization."

Tip 2: Maximizing Your Bottom Line, Getting Started

Implementation of the Content Monetization Plan

You may implement a content monetization plan in your organization internally or externally by using an agent, or on your own if you are a self-publisher. The critical issues involved in making this decision are personnel, time, and resources. The key benefit of implementing it externally for a small publisher or self-publisher is that an agent specializing in licensing subsidiary rights will have expertise in this area that you may not.

Survival Strategies

No matter which path you decide to follow, there are "survival strategies" which may enhance your probability of success.

  • Follow the game. What are other publishers doing? How do they find success?
  • Get to know your ecosystem. Who are potential licensors? Which media and formats are best for licensing your content?
  • Become a digital native. Learn to speak the language.
  • Learn how to listen to your peers. Networking is very important.
  • Educate your staff (if you have a staff).
  • Sharpen your arrows. Target prospects and build a community around your content.

Working with Agents to Implement the Content MonetizationPlan

Decide if you want to work with an exclusive agency that will handle the licensing of all your subsidiary rights or with a network of agents. If you work with a network of agents, an individual agent would be responsible for licensing specific rights. For example, one agent would handle foreign translations and another agent would handle audio rights.

Make sure you understand the important terms and conditions in an agency contract, which often include the following:

  • Services performed by the agent. Make certain the agent's services are specified clearly.
  • Term of contract. A short-term contract is often preferable to a long-term contract, but the contract needs to be long enough for the agent to perform the services.
  • Commission. Although there may be minimal start-up fees, the normal method of compensation is a commission based upon the agent's successful licensing of rights.
  • Reporting/Statements. This includes frequency of reports regarding the agent's activities on your behalf and financial statements regarding licensing monies that have been paid to the agent.
  • Performance standards. If possible, include these in the contract so that you have criteria to evaluate the agent's performance. This is especially important in a long-term contract when the agent's performance is unsatisfactory. It could provide you with an opportunity for early termination of the contract.

The next article in the 8-part content monetization series will discuss the rights acquired by the grant of rights clause in the author's contract and negotiation issues regarding this contract clause.



Topics:  Content Strategy, License Agreements

Published In: Art, Entertainment & Sports Updates, General Business Updates, Communications & Media Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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