The Ultimate Guide To Content Aggregators (The Good, The Bad and The Ugly)

By Ruchika Sharma

geralt / Pixabay

A common challenge that a digital news publisher will come across is working with content aggregators.

Today, I’m going to share two things with you: firstly, a rant about how content aggregators are impacting digital news publishing, and secondly, how to handle them.

Let’s pause for a second though to define exactly what a content aggregator is.

A content aggregator is an individual or organization that gathers web content (and/or sometimes applications) from different online sources for reuse or resale.

They come in two kinds:

  1. Those who simply gather news from various sources for their websites.
  2. Those who gather and distribute news for customers. This process is called content syndication.

Customers actually love content aggregators, even if digital news publishers don’t. The irony is that the whole content aggregator thing was started off by digital news publishers.

A short history of content aggregators

2015 was when the digital industry witnessed the rise of content aggregators. Because many publishers perceived syndication as a sin, they rejected aggregators and instead chose Google News, Yahoo News and AOL. Also, none of them wanted to dip into their budget, so instead created free news searches for Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Vine et al.

The audience sizes of these aggregator sites were small, but they were seen to be having the capacity to grow rapidly. Trying to accomplish the common goal of ‘being everywhere your readers are’, many publishers started relying on these aggregators completely, and unfortunately, instead of finding a better solution to reach their audience, they started giving their content to the aggregators for free.

In return, they got a huge number of views on content but not much ROI.

When it comes to revenue generation, which is a big challenge for digital publishers, the only option with content aggregators is to bet on the subscription models and nothing else. Which is definitely not a win-win situation for digital news publishers.

The impact of content aggregators on news consumption

It goes without saying that content discovery has changed significantly in the past decade, but the method of news consumption has also changed drastically. Now consumers expect a frictionless delivery and high-quality, shareable, searchable and readily-available news content in return for their interest.

A lot of consumers now prefer paying an aggregator site once a month to access a variety of news from multiple publishers. To them, it is more convenient and cost-effective to pay just once and consume maximum content throughout the month.

The only way this situation could benefit the publishers would be if the consumers were paying every time they consumed publisher’s content on an aggregator site, and they’re definitely not.

So does this mean that content aggregators should be a big ‘NO’ for your news publishing sites?

The friction between content aggregators and news publishers

Giving away your content for free and still being eaten up by the content aggregators is not a good state for any publisher to Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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