Content syndication has been around for ages, long before the advent of the internet. Popular TV shows, after premiering on an exclusive channel, are usually syndicated to other networks to generate additional revenues. Press articles can reach a new readership when localized beyond their home market. Radio has always been a fertile ground for syndication agreements.
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The internet has improved the granularity of content syndication. RSS (Rich Site Summary, often called Really Simple Syndication) kickstarted the trend of structured syndication. More recently, on the adtech programmatic front, a whole industry has developed around the recommendation concept, generally taking the shape of suggestion widgets embedded on news websites, in side bars or footers, not always filled with the highest quality content. You’ve probably seen these grids pop up all over the internet, titled “Related posts you may like”, “From the web”, “You may like”, “Sponsored stories”, etc.
The content of these widgets is supposed to be customized based on the context (the topic of the website / page) and the profile of the reader (if cookie or login data can offer such refinement). It’s also usually possible to use these widgets for retargeting purposes. But overall you still get the impression that recommendations can be way off the mark.
Newsletters, the most intimate syndication channel
Newsletters are probably the most efficient channel for syndication purposes. They offer a deterministic unique identifier, the email address, which – thanks to ividence’s tag solution – can be used to personalize on the fly the whole content of the message, to the smallest details. Publisher-A can distribute his content via publisher-B’s newsletter, either retargeting common readers, with a slightly different angle, or leveraging publisher-B’s first-party data to reach additional readership. Beyond the obvious monetization opportunity, syndicating content from another publisher can help broadcasters to fill a content gap, which can in turn reinforce their authority. A win-win deal, spinning the wheel of a virtuous circle.
Depending on the level of granularity offered by publisher-B’s data and expected by publisher A, each recipient of a newsletter could theoretically receive a totally different email. Headlines could be different, featured images could vary, the lay-out could be tweaked to match the recipient’s taste, etc. We’re still in the early days of cross-publisher content syndication via email but there’s no doubt that newsletters are a massive – still understated – opportunity to distribute personalized content at scale!
Join the early adopters, contact us now to discuss how we can help.