Publishers made only 14% of revenue from distributed content

Publishers are only making 14 percent of their revenue from distributing their content on third party platforms, according to a new report from Digital Content Next, the premium publishers’ trade group. The Distributed Content Revenue Benchmark Report, which reflects revenue in the first half of 2016, is based on a limited sample — 17 members — but offers a rare look at how much publishers are making from social distribution. The majority of publishers’ distributed revenue came from YouTube, as newer platforms and features have failed to turn into meaningful revenue streams (see first chart).

Each platform has its own set of monetization challenges. Here’s a breakdown of the major ones:

Facebook offers publishers many ways of making money, from Instant Articles to audience extension, and so is also the most widely used for monetization by the publishers surveyed, especially text-based ones. Of the 19 surveyed that use it for distribution, 16 are monetizing there on their own, seven through the platform’s sales arm. Yet many “express deep ambivalence about the platform’s commitment to their success monetizing on the platform,” the report read.

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