Unless you’ve been on another planet, you’ll know by now that US content providers iSyndicate and ScreamingMedia have set up shop in the UK. What of the UK businesses that were selling online content long before the Americans stuck their oar in? We asked Tim Satchell, Managing Director of Online Editorial Bureau (OEB), about his strategy:
“Strangely enough, the arrival of iSyndicate and ScreamingMedia in London has, I think, been the making of our content syndication business. At first, I didn't worry about them too much because OEB was fairly different to them, largely because we focused on doing bespoke jobs for a few key clients, such as Reuters, One 2 One and Tesco. As well as syndicating other people's content, we had our own journalists creating exclusive content in order to help sites differentiate themselves from the pack. Content syndication had to compete for attention alongside OEB's other roles of publisher and, more recently, website developer.
“But with the Americans on our doorstep knocking fairly loudly, it was obviously time to take a hard look at our content syndication operations and either do it enthusiastically and aggressively or not at all. So we decided to improve our services and our marketing. We brought in an expert on content management systems who made huge improvements to our automated delivery capability. Then we started advertising our services in industry magazines such as New Media Age and Revolution. Obvious, I know, but we were happy to rely on word of mouth before, particularly through contacts from our sister companies, online sales houses Cityscreen and e-Space. We're currently improving our corporate website to provide a much more comprehensive list of available content and to showcase that content. And we plan to build our team with the addition of content aggregation and sales staff, so we can more aggressively tackle the market. The results are starting to show in an expanding client and content list and a renewed passion for the business of selling content.”
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