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Tuesday, March 3, 2020

With over 25,000 legal columnists in the form of legal bloggers, LexBlog is no doubt in the the publishing business.

Our business model has never been around subscriptions, advertising or, God-forbid, charging people to distribute their content. Our business model has always been licensing publishing software.

A blog publishing platform, a portal platform for syndication and a ‘spot’ publishing solution for publishing ‘into’ LexBlog and onto our syndication partners. All in a SaaS model, where our software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted.

Turns out, per a a piece on media trends at Axios, the business of licensing publishing software is becoming increasingly competitive as more digital publishers look to raise money and develop more content management software and technology products.

From Axios:

  • Minute Media, a holding group that owns digital sports and entertainment websites like The Players’ Tribune and The Big Lead, announced Wednesday that it has raised $40 million in venture capital on a post-money valuation is more than $500 million, most of which will be used to expand its business by selling publishing software as a service.

Many modern media companies have built some sort of tech product, mostly publishing software, to license to other companies. Today, there are many companies that offer different publishing solutions.

  • The Washington Post created Arc, which is licensed to dozens of publishers, from small weekly publications to The Boston Globe.
  • Vox Media sells a suite of tech products ranging from its content management system, Chorus, to Coral, an open-source comments publishing platform that it acquired from the Mozilla Foundation last year. It also acquired a content management business called Clay when it bought New York Media last year.
  • Axios is reportedly looking to sell a new CMS-type of service to big companies, per Business Insider.
  • Hearst Media licenses MediaOS, a proprietary content management system that also serves as a data analytics platform.

Though, per Axios, most have not been able to grow their non-media businesses to deliver on the promise of tech-style scale, LexBlog is doing so.

As any entrepreneur will tell you, one never feels secure, LexBlog is scaling with technology, processes and software. With a small and nimble team, we’re running over 1,000 niche publications, and growing on our publishing software and aggregating and curating content from over 25,000 citizen publishers – legal publishers/bloggers.

Talking to another publishing partner today, discussing our model, he said I’m starting to see it, you’re in the “mechanics” of publishing, and licensing the software to support it.

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