Just as many newspaper publishers still make money printing rival publications, online media offers its own opportunities for farming out content management and digital publishing services.
One of the most successful players in this new arena, The Washington Post, has established a promising sideline licensing its Arc Publishing Platform to other big news publishers, with a list of clients that now includes Tronc, owner of the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times.
Under the terms of the new licensing deal, Tronc will use Arc to power all its digital properties, starting with the LAT andother pubs to follow, including the ChicagoTribune, Baltimore Sun and Orlando Sentinel.
In addition to creating and distributing editorial content, Arc will help Tronc produce and manage its advertising and marketing efforts, including native ads and branded content, and also provides tools for analytics and optimization.
Previously, WaPo licensed Arc to the Woodbridge Company’s Globe and Mail, which publishes newspapers in six major metropolitan areas across Canada, but the Tronc licensing agreement marks its first deal with a big U.S. publisher.
WaPo also announced it intends to make Arc available to all publishers through a self-service platform, suitable for smaller publishers, which will help clients tackle video, mobile apps, and social media distribution.The Tronc licensing deal is somewhat unexpected, as Tronc previously touted plans to develop its own proprietary content management and distribution system, with a special emphasis on using artificial intelligence to target multimedia content, including video, to its digital audience at scale.
At one point last year, Tronc chairman Michael Ferro, a billionaire who made his fortune in healthcare technology software, mused the publisher could use AI to produce 2,000 videos a day.