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Facebook, Google account for less than 5% of total digital revenue for publishers

Staff Writer |
A report by association Digital Content Next (DCN) "DCN Distributed Content Revenue Benchmark Report" offers in-depth insights into how Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube and other platforms are partnering with premium digital publishers to attract users and grow advertising revenue.

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Facebook and Google, the two dominant companies generating the most revenue for publishers outside of Over-the-Top (OTT), together account for less than 30 percent of the total distributed content revenue and represent only 5 percent of the total average digital revenue for publishers.

However, overall revenues from distributed content grew from 14 percent in last year's report and now represent 16 percent of the participating publishers' digital revenues.

For the companies providing data for both H1 2016 and H1 2017 for DCN's report, distributed content revenue grew by an estimated 37 percent year over year.

Video revenue continues to drive monetization, representing an estimated 83 percent of the total, with TV/cable companies reaping a disproportionate share of third-party platform monetization and growth through OTT and syndication.

Facebook overtook YouTube in 2017 as the individual platform generating the most revenue for publishers, capturing $1.3 million (50 percent of social platform revenue) in H2 2016 and $1.5 million (59 percent of social platform revenue) in H1 2017.

In addition, publishers say that marketers continue to be interested in Snapchat's young demographic, but dislike the ad product which is easily skipped and has low (under three seconds) average view times.

It remains to be seen how Facebook's January 2018 announcement to deprioritize certain publisher content in the news feed and prior shifts in its video business model – as well as Snapchat's changes to its monetization model and self-service Ad Manager API – will affect publishers' interests and monetization.

Despite the increased demand for premium digital content on third-party platforms, publishers continue to struggle to extract value from their distributed content.

Search, syndication and OTT channels have been more accommodating to publishers than social media.

While there have been some encouraging developments, like the introduction of the Facebook Instant Articles subscription tool, the realities of implementation are harsh and the challenges remain, especially for print and pure play publishers.


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