Three Strategies for Content Monetization: Part 3 of 3

Thomas Nelson successfully leverages content in non-book formats

In my previous post, I wrote about a technology platform that allows reference book publishers to transact in backlist content. Today, I present yet another strategy publishers can use to monetize content: thinking beyond the written word.

Let’s look at Thomas Nelson, Inc., the world’s largest Christian publisher and one of the largest trade publishers in the United States.

Thomas Nelson is a powerhouse in licensing for multiple technology platforms. The company provides multiple forms of inspirational content: Bibles, books, ebooks, journals, audio, video, and curricula. Currently, Thomas Nelson’s licensing division has over 5,000 active licensing contracts available in over 40 different formats, averaging over 750 newly-negotiated contracts each year. In addition, this division maintains active contracts in 73 languages.

As part of its initiative to leverage rights, Thomas Nelson offers multiple digital applications and mobile apps, each of which delivers inspirational content and managing their rights. Two particularly popular downloads this year were the app for Sarah Young’s platinum selling devotional, “Jesus Calling,” and the app for Max Lucado’s “Live Loved.”

Developing an app for a title is a significant investment of time and money, so it makes sense primarily for titles or authors with an established fan base or a wide audience. Some advantages: an app has a different price point than a book and reaches the user who is shopping on a digital device instead of a bookstore. The app might deliver the same content as the book, but packaged and presented differently. App content can also be delivered on a schedule: in the case of a devotional, the reader could receive a new piece of inspirational content every day or every week.

“Apps offer a new level of accessibility for this outstanding devotional content and we are thrilled to see the success of these apps,” said Laura Minchew, senior vice president and publisher of specialty products at Thomas Nelson. “I especially love the ease of sharing content via Facebook or Twitter and the immediate giftability of the apps.”

In conclusion, revenue derived from non-book rights are growing in their share of the overall industry. I have touched on 3 ways publishers are monetizing their content through creative rights management. And this is just the tip of the iceberg – we did not cover merchandising, film, or name and likeness licensing to name a few.

Publishing News: Week in Review

Publishing News: Week in Review

HarperCollins outraged librarians, publishers get creative with distribution, and digital authors need new skills.

In the latest Publishing News: HarperCollins capped titles for libraries; publishers are tapping non-traditional outlets for distribution; and Dana Newman schools authors on how to embrace the e-pocalypse.

Digital authors need a whole new set of skills

Digital authors need a whole new set of skills

Dana Newman on how authors can best embrace the e-pocalypse.

Dana Newman, a transactional and intellectual property attorney, on how authors should change behaviors and actions to protect themselves in — and make the most of — the digital age.

Bloomsbury eyes worldwide rights

The move to replace the geographic territory publishing model with a global model is gaining speed.

Attorney and literary agent Dana Newman says Bloomsbury's move to worldwide rights is just the beginning.

The App Store and the Long Tail Part 2: The Real "DRM" At Stake

A few weeks ago I wrote about how the small number of sales from many different countries were adding up to more than the large number of sales from the US in the App Store for our books. Our success got me wondering why there’s not stronger interest from other publishers, especially trade publishers, in iPhone apps (besides concerns about pricing and the approval process). Then as I was looking at rankings for some of the top paid book apps, I spotted a possible answer.

Visualizing the Advantages of StartWithXML

Here are two ways to think about why a StartWithXML workflow can be important and valuable: 1. Until very recently, we lived in a world where the book was the sun and everything else orbited around it. Now the CONTENT, the IP, is the sun, and the book is relegated to one of the satellite bodies (still often the biggest,…

[TOC Community] How Does Digital Affect Territorial Rights?

Over on the TOC Community, David Henley poses interesting questions about rights and territories: With the looming ebook and international POD availability, won't the traditional territorial rights market start to become shaky? Especially for publishers in countries like Australia whose main income comes from distributing US and UK owned content? Related Stories: Join the TOC Community…

Colleges Weigh Blanket Copyright Licenses vs Fair Use Rights

The Copyright Clearance Center is extending its offer of blanket licenses to larger universities. In a 2007 article in the Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required), some school administrators expressed concern about the implicit waiver of fair use assertions: But some librarians are ambivalent about blanket licenses, Mr. Rehbach [Jeffrey R. Rehbach, the library-policy adviser at Middlebury College] says,…

Copyright Clearance and Transaction Use Permits

There are times at a conference when several people tell you, “You have to talk to Person-X” and no matter how hard you try to align schedules, it just doesn’t happen.  At the O’Reilly Tools of Change conference, for me, that Person-X was John Billington of the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC).  John is the Product Manager for New Media at…