In the past few years I have done a number of exercises to evaluate the revenue opportunity for publishers in the BtoB market, particularly the $2+ billion MME (media monitoring and media evaluation/measurement) segment. The very conservative estimate of royalty revenue is $150 million. Allowing for the direct agreements in place with the marquis titles I estimate the opportunity for just the LLI participating publishers at $25 million. To put this in perspective, an established LLI access fee of $1 per end user customer would generate $160,000 annually when we are able to move this market to a modicum of compliance maturity.
The initial steps, though moving at a glacial pace, are already being taken by a group of 5 publishers with the NMA coordinating the effort to garner compliance from Lexis Nexis.
I see this as leading to an organized working group effort involving, predominantly, the licensing professionals from a group of publishers committed to collective action. This group of business side professionals would be motivated by their revenue responsivities to their respective organizations. This group would then focus on becoming informed about the market and the BtoB use business use cases for content. Next would then be the prioritization of action to be taken based on an evaluation of the 100+ MMEs operating in the U.S.. Finally, engaging the players with a demand for compliance.
This will require a bit of soul searching on the part of the publishers to decide if they are willing to commit to taking action.
To this point, there are many publishers with many different reasons for this not being the time to move forward with this. The major reason for the majority of small to medium publishers is about resources. That is just not having the people or corporate bandwidth to invest. I would say that the collective nature of this group proposal would offset the need for extraordinary resource allocation. In the end, even for those not participating the benefit will come under the heading of a rising tide lifting all boats if the collective approach is embraced.
This effort would include not just news publishers but certainly magazine and special interest publishers.
In the coming weeks, there will be further discussion within the NMA as to the role they wish play in this.