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The size of the audience viewing a publisher’s original content on other sites is 1.5 times larger than it is on the publisher’s original destination site, and this alternate-site access costs the average publisher $150K per year in lost ad revenue, according to a study from Attributor Corporation.


The study (pdf),? which quantifies the audience size and monetary value of original publisher content on other sites, tracked online content from more than 100 publishers in a broad range of categories – including entertainment, sports, technology, politics, health, travel and automotive – and scanned for proliferation across 30 billion web pages during September.

Key Findings:

  • Across all sites studied, publishers have an untapped off-site audience that is nearly 1.5 times bigger than the audience that visits their destination site.
  • While each category has incremental revenue opportunity, the automotive and travel categories have the most significant opportunity with views on other sites five to seven times higher than on publisher destination sites.


  • Based on a CPM of $1, 42% of publishers studied are missing out on up to $50K in annual ad revenue; 33% are missing out on up to $250k in annual ad revenue; and 25% are missing out on more than $250K in annual ad revenue from off-site content.


Attributor’s TrueAudience technology also determined the audience for the following top categories as a multiple of the audience viewing content on the destination site:

  • Auto: nearly 7 times
  • Travel: more than 5 times
  • Movie reviews: nearly 5 times
  • Entertainment — nearly 4 times
  • Sports, Technology: more than 2 times
  • Advice, Environment, Health: nearly 2 times
  • Politics: nearly 1.5 times

According to Attributor, study results show there is a significant and largely untapped opportunity for online publishers to capture lost revenue by embracing open syndication through direct relationships with ad networks.

“The results of this study confirm what many publishers have always known – their original content is powering significant revenue on other sites,” said Jim Brock, CEO of Attributor. “We’re working with dozens of branded publishers and leading ad networks to quantify the web-wide audience and revenue opportunity and determine the policies by which publishers can receive a revenue share from viral syndication of their content.”

About the study: Attributor tracked the complete RSS feeds from over 100 publisher sites across a variety of content categories and found all instances of that content across 30 billion web pages, discarding identifiable licensed copies and eliminating any pages in which the content was less than 50% original or included less than 125 words of the original article. Attributor calculated the page-view opportunity using estimate data provided by and calculated the off-site audience for each site and for the top content categories. To assess the advertising revenue opportunity, Attributor applied a $1 CPM.

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