Debunking myths around licensed content
With very few exceptions, bloggers, editors, producers and publisher of any other kind all use licensed content. This third-party content comes in many forms; photos and videos from commercial image libraries, newsreel footage from on-the-ground videographers, and articles from major newswires, to name but a few.
However, despite the use of third-party content being prevalent in the publishing world, there still remains a number of myths about content licensing which need to be debunked.
Myth: Buying content is expensive
To begin with, it’s important to understand that buying content and licensing content are two different things. In paying an external party—be it a freelancer or an agency—to create content, a brand or publisher is paying for that entity’s time and skills. On the other hand, licensing content is far less expensive than creating or commissioning content.
Depending on the freelancer, a basic original piece of written content can cost anything from $300 to $1,000. However, a similarly reported article that’s already been produced and published can cost as little as $15, depending on the usage rights required.
Myth: Repurposing articles will diminish your authority
It is never recommended that a publisher solely uses licensed content. The best cases are always publishers and brands that have a mix of third-party content that fills gaps where your in-house content creators either cannot fill, or budgetary reasons do not allow. Another crucial strength of licensed content is to align your brand with reputable and trusted sources from top industry publications and experts in their field to legitimise your authority.
Licensing agreements allow content to live on your site, and with the canonical links inserted, your content hub will not be punished in terms of SEO. Driving audiences to your website with a range of premium content from reputable sources also allows you to reap all the traffic and social sharing rewards, and keep your audience on your owned channels rather than send them away by linking to other content that doesn’t live on your site.
Myth: Content licensing is stealing
Content licensing certainly is not stealing. Licensing involves the content provider, or owner, agreeing to allow the buyer to republish the stipulated content, normally in exchange for a licensing fee. In most cases, licensed content should be attributed to the original source by author name and publisher, or some variant on that, all of which is clarified in the content license agreement.
Stealing content is when a publisher or producer takes content from another source without the appropriate license in place. A common misconception is that content can be reused so long as you provide a link to the original source – this is not the case! There must be a license in place, or it must be clearly stipulated by the content owner that republishing is permitted, for example via a Creative Commons license.