content syndication guide

Table of Contents

For online content publishers, content syndication is a great way to expand your reach, build your reputation, and possibly make money. Similar to how television shows and radio programs can be syndicated to different networks and stations, your digital content can be syndicated through a variety of distributors. 

Sounds great, right? It is, but there are different types of content syndication to consider. Before you decide to syndicate the content you’ve worked hard to create, you need to understand the available syndication models and how they can benefit you. 

Content syndication options for online publishers

There are three main types of content syndication:

1. Licensed content syndication

Through the licensed content syndication model, content publishers give distributors permission to provide their content to one or more end users. Publishers retain ownership of their content and control where their content is syndicated. Distributors pay a fee to provide that content to their end users, and publishers receive a portion of that fee when end users access their content.

What does that mean? Let’s break it down:


In this case, a publisher is anyone who creates and publishes content online. Each content distributor will have their own requirements for the type of digital content they’ll syndicate. 

Newstex licenses and syndicates authoritative content from a wide variety of online publishers who write high-quality content about a range of topics, including business, law, finance, science, technology, news, and politics


As the name implies, distributors provide content to end-user audiences such as corporations, government agencies, research groups, academic libraries, financial institutions, and media organizations. They can use either subscription-based information databases or a combination of subscription and open-web content marketplaces.

Newstex works with numerous syndicated content distributors to help authoritative content publishers reach key audiences, including well-known brands like LexisNexis, Moody’s, ProQuest, Refinitiv, Thomson Reuters WestLaw, Industry Dive’s studioID, SyndiGate, and more. 


As the creator, content publishers own the copyright to all of their content. Under US law, this is true even if you haven’t formally filed for copyright protection with the US Patent and Trademark Office (although obtaining formal protection does offer additional benefits).

Digital content publishers who syndicate their content through Newstex sign a license agreement that gives Newstex permission to syndicate the content to its distributor partners in exchange for fees that are generated when the content is accessed by end users. This agreement explicitly states that publishers own and retain all copyrights to their content. The license agreement is non-exclusive and can be terminated at any time.


It would be extremely difficult for publishers to approach distributors like LexisNexis or Thomson Reuters WestLaw and successfully get their content syndicated through those channels. That’s where Newstex comes into the picture. 

These brands know that Newstex can provide them with the authoritative content their end users are looking for. Newstex also manages contracts, payments, and more, so publishers and distributors can focus on creating and sharing authoritative content.

Authoritative content

Authoritative content is a term used by Newstex to refer to high-quality content, timely and newsworthy topics. It’s the type of content that many professional audiences need to do their jobs. 

Authoritative publishers produce content that is in-depth, updated frequently, and covers emerging topics that aren’t often discussed elsewhere. In addition, they often include the names of companies, organizations, brands, and notable individuals in their work. They’re creating content that matters.

2. Ad-supported content syndication

A content publisher who syndicates their digital content through ad-supported syndication is paid a portion of the revenue the distributor earns from the ads that appear with the publisher’s content. Publishers often have little or no control over where their content is distributed or which ads appear alongside their content. 

Typically, ad revenue is not generated unless the person viewing the content actually views the ad (impression-based advertising), clicks on the ad (pay-per-click advertising), or makes a purchase (affiliate advertising).

3. Free or bartered content syndication

With free or bartered content syndication, a publisher’s content is syndicated to end users through one or multiple websites, but they receive no monetary payment. This type of syndication rarely helps to expand a publisher’s audience and can create more problems than the small lift in exposure is worth. In addition, free aggregators can take-in your content and syndicate it without your permission.

Essential considerations for authoritative content publishers

If you publish high-quality, authoritative content, then you need to do some thinking before you jump into syndication. Here are some recommendations to help you make the best decisions.

Consider your goals

Step one is to think about your goals. Ask yourself: 

  • Are you trying to expand your audience? 
  • Do you want to get in front of hard-to-reach audiences? 
  • Are you trying to monetize your content? 
  • What are your long-term goals for publishing content?
  • Is your content high-quality?

Research opportunities

Next, research opportunities for syndication using the model that matches your goals. If you publish authoritative content and want to reach professionals who need high-quality news and commentary (and you want to make some money from the content you publish), then licensed syndication through Newstex is likely your best choice. 

Some of the audiences who will read your content when you syndicate your content through Newstex include:

  • Journalists
  • Regulators
  • Attorneys
  • Corporate intelligence analysts
  • Businesspeople
  • Healthcare professionals
  • Scholars
  • Wall Street analysts
  • Financial advisors
  • And many more

Confirm ownership, non-exclusivity, and licensing details

Never agree to syndicate your content if you’re required to sign something that states you give up ownership of your content. You own the copyright as the creator, and syndication shouldn’t change that!

In addition, avoid syndicating your content through any distributor or partner who requires that you sign an exclusive deal. It’s your content, and you have the right to re-use, re-publish, and syndicate in any way that you want. Any syndication agreement you enter should be non-exclusive.

Finally, be aware of where your content appears, how it’s used, what it appears with, and where it’s used. If you don’t want your content distributed on the open web, make sure your syndication and/or distribution agreement allows you to prevent it from happening. Also, ask how the syndicator will enforce your wishes.

Ask about costs and earnings

If a content syndication opportunity requires that you pay something to participate, you should pass. You’re providing the content that you worked hard to create--you shouldn’t have to pay someone else to syndicate it. Instead, choose a syndication opportunity that is free, like licensed syndication through Newstex.

You should also check to see if you’ll earn money from the syndication providers you’re considering. With Newstex, you’ll earn a percentage of the distributor’s fee every time an end user accesses your content. 

On the other hand, ad-supported syndicators only pay you when someone views or clicks ads that are published with your content. They may even have to make a purchase via an ad link for you to see any revenue.

Even if content syndication does not generate much money for you, it will allow you to generate passive income from material you’ve already created. 

Benefits of licensed syndication for digital content publishers

Licensing your content through Newstex can help you:

  • Get in front of hard-to-reach audiences
  • Bolster your credibility
  • Establish your expertise
  • Earn passive income for the work you’ve already done

Remember, publishers who syndicate through Newstex retain full ownership and control of their content through a non-exclusive deal At the same time, distributors can connect their end users to the content they want Everyone wins!

Your next steps to license your authoritative content for syndication through top distributors

Ready to put your authoritative content in front of hard-to-reach audiences? Whether you’re looking to expand your audience or simply generate some passive income, you can do it through Newstex licensed syndication. It’s easy to get set up! Contact us to get started.

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