The move towards distributed content

The move towards distributed content

Readers are increasingly moving away from publishers’ websites and accessing content via social media, noted a recent white paper by the American Press Institute.

Publishers need to accept this paradigm shift and embrace the new opportunities it represents; while this shift is scary, it also means that you can (and should) reach a far larger audience than your publication’s limited base.

Interesting quotes from the white paper:

Distributed content is any content that a publisher creates to live “natively” on an outside platform without directing any traffic back to your domain. This could mean allowing Facebook or Google to host your articles through Facebook Instant Articles or Google AMP. But it more generally means content you create specifically to live off-site on certain platforms.


Legacy publishers need to leverage distributed content to grow their audience and survive this wave. That requires employing smart strategies and pragmatic solutions. Ignoring the rise of distributed content will not make it go away, but by using some of the solutions that follow, publishers can take advantage of this shift to reach new audiences and, ultimately, profit.

Two words in this quote stand out for me: “smart” and “pragmatic”. If we look honestly at ourselves, we’ll find that most times, we are neither. On a really good day, we may be both. But those are exceptions rather than the norm. A complete change in mindset and culture is called for, and that may be something beyond most organisations. But for those that do, the rewards can be tremendous.

The key takeaway from this white paper is the necessity of embracing change in order to move out of the doldrums traditional media seems to be stuck in. Oftentimes we don’t grab the bull by the horns – we lack the courage, the initiative, the ability to operate like a lean startup (and in this day and age, you go lean or you go home). These are issues that need to be addressed, or else we will find ourselves irrelevant and obsolete.


Ogilvy: Welcome to the age of distribute content

Cision: What is distributed content? (and 5 ways to use it)

American Press Institute: Distributed content: The best ways to build sustainable platform strategies