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Content Curation Is Here To Stay

Now that news on the go is a necessity for much of the population, many consumers are no longer simply heading to one website—much less picking up a newspaper—for their daily information. Nearly one third of desktop or laptop news consumers now also get news on a smartphone, according to a 2012 Pew Reseach study. And most likely, those same people are either reading tweets or Facebook updates, or grazing news aggregators like The Huffington Post or Mashable, said Andrew Beaujon, senior online reporter at The Poynter Institute.

“Everyone with a Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest account is a content curator,” he said. “A few years ago, professional aggregators scoured the web for interesting content to highlight to their audiences. Now those sites’ biggest competition is their readers.”

A news aggregator is commonly defined as a website, blog or social media platform that curates information from other online sources and publishes it in one place. The topic of news aggregation—or curation—can be complex. Supporters tout its usefulness for sharing relevant information while still driving traffic back to the original site, yet some feel it benefits only the aggregator. Beaujon said the bottom line is revenue, and news aggregation does drive advertising dollars.

“People share content they think reflects well on them,” he said. “For some people, the benefit is personal—if you post something awesome to Facebook before your friends do, your stock rises among them. Professional aggregators work the same way, except they often sell ads against the fact that people rely on them to find unique stuff.”

Brands are in on the trend too. Content marketing is the name of the game right now, and part of that practice is gathering, sharing and commenting on other articles in the space. NewsCred is a company who has created a business from curating news to benefit both publishers and marketers. The organization started out catering to consumers, and has since evolved into the B to B market.

“The founders realized that licensing content—getting access to that high quality journalism—was even more difficult than just curating and aggregating it,” said Alicianne Rand, NewsCred’s director of marketing. “So that’s why they wanted to tackle the licensing aspect of content curation.”

With NewsCred’s curated items being licensed, brands are then able to promote thought leadership by sharing relevant articles to their audience. Rand said the bottom line is that consumers now are looking for easy access to high-quality journalism that caters to their specific interests. Therefore, NewsCred’s goal is to create a space where readers can get the info they want in one place, and where the journalists are still getting credited for their content.

“I think publishers in today’s day and age, they need to act quickly and be innovative in how they’re driving new revenue streams,” Rand said. “Licensing content is just another opportunity for them to drive revenue. So we’re basically extending the shelf life of an article, driving new revenue back to that publisher and we’re opening up a new market. We’re selling that content to brands, which is a new market that didn’t exist before.”

The future for content created and news aggregation remains to be seen, with social media blurring the lines between brands, journalists and consumers. But the model isn’t new, and will likely change, said Beaujon.

“Newspapers used to—and still do—‘match’ stories by competitors,” he said. “That said, the value of aggregation falls as more people who do it and more readers share content in communities they create themselves, whether on social media or Reddit or whatever.”

For now, however, Rand said the demand for quality news on the go is higher than ever, and she believes NewsCred’s model is a benefit for both brands and consumers.

“Because we license content and we’re paying every publisher for the content that our clients use, they’re getting a significant amount of revenue that goes to their bottom line,” she said. “And that turns into millions and millions of dollars every year from licensing fees.”

For more information on content curation, download Cision’s complimentary tip sheet, 10 Tips to Curating Content.

About Gina Joseph

Gina Joseph is a features writer for Cision Blog, and is also the digital engagement manager for Cision’s marketing department. She’s a book nerd, Detroit sports enthusiast, lover of cats, lifelong Phil Collins fan, and budding snowboarder. Find her on Twitter @gmg912.

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