In a press release issued today by the Fair Syndication Consortium, the organization announced both that it has grown to include over 1,000 members, ranging from amateur bloggers to major news networks, and that the advertising network AdBrite has agreed “in principle” to work with the organization and its goals.
The Consortium, previously covered here, seeks to help publishers monetize their content as it is used on other sites by tracking their content and working with advertising networks to share revenues with the original authors.
Though few details about the deal are available, Iggy Fanlo, CEO at Adbrite, said that, “We see the Fair Syndication Consortium as an opportunity to increase monetization for original content while providing our publishers with an opportunity to leverage premium content on their sites.”
The Fair Syndication Consortium was founded by content tracking-service Attributor, along with a charter group of publishers including the news syndication service Reuters. However, the service has also grown on the publisher side and also includes other prominent news organizations such as The Boston Globe, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Magazine Publishers of American and even several Web-based companies such as Gawker and Politico.
What This Means
There are still a lot of difficult nuts and bolts questions about how the Consortium will work including what percentages will be paid, how will a “match” be determined (what are the criteria) and how the Consortium will handle situations where members, though they are profiting from the use of their content, still wish the work to be removed, such as with cases of plagiarism.
These are tough questions and there are no answers to them at this time as this is just an agreement in principle.
However, it is still a major hurdle that has been overcome. Though AdBrite is not the largest ad network, in fact it is listed in the small “other” slice of the Consortium’s original pie chart, it is still a large network and a respected name in the field. The fact that they have signed on will likely pave the way for others to do the same.
Many, including myself, had wondered if advertising networks would agree to participate in the Consortium but if AdBrite can start the momentum and serve as the trailblazer, then one of the largest problems the Consortium faced, at least from a non-technical point of view, has been overcome.
In short, this new agreement means that the Consortium has a much higher chance of success now than it did before. There is no doubt that this is a step forward though we’ll only know how large of a step after some time has passed.
Things are definitely looking better for the Fair Syndication Consortium. Though the longer-term impact will be the real determining factor, this is an important step forward.
If you are interested in joining the Consortium, you can do so by visiting their site. Membership is open to all publishers, regardless of size, and you will likely wish to register your content with FairShare, Attributor’s free content tracking service as it will be how the Consortium will track your content when the time comes.
The hope is that more publishers, both large and small, will sign up for the Consortium and that will, in turn, help attract new advertising networks. From there, the system can begin working on the more tactical questions and start taking the system from an idea to something that is actually functioning and sharing revenue.
Disclosure: I have consulted for Attributor in the past and am a member of the Fair Syndication Consortium.