Former Borders VP Wants to License Book Content to Websites

Bob Chunn, the former VP of e-commerce and digital at Borders, is back in digital publishing. His new startup, ContentOro, is going to help publishers monetize their content by licensing it to websites.


According to Crain's Detriot:

He said he has been talking with a variety of publishers and hopes to have deals signed soon. He said seed funding will enable ContentOro to build its own online marketplace, where potential customers can use search terms or phrases to find content they want.

Each customer will have sole use of purchased content, which will help search engine optimization tools direct people to their sites. "There are 130 million books, and you can only buy 70,000 of them at Barnes & Noble, so there's plenty of material to choose from," Chunn said.

Chunn said he got the idea for ContentOro after he left Borders in 2011 to join Houston-based Retail Concepts as its chief marketing officer. "We were paying a lot of money for content for our website, but people would land on our site and we'd give them garbage," he said. "We weren't a source of real information."

When it comes to news websites, there's no money in this idea. But as for businesses with finances based on selling a product or service (and aren't dependent on ad revenue), this idea could be workable.

In fact, Chunn already has interested licensees, and is setting up a pilot with a local agency. "Content marketing is a hot-button issue for our clients. Traditional and digital media have not performed as well as they want. There's a big opportunity here for someone who can provide better content," said Ethan Goodman, vice president of digital and innovation at the Mars Agency.

There is also interest from publishers, according to Sean Moore, the president of Moseley Road. This NY-based firm makes deals to sell the foreign rights to books from US publishers. "All the publishers I'm talking to are ready to get on board when Bob is ready," said Moore, who says he plans to sign on 15 publishers this year.

I do wonder whether it will survive Amazon. The retailer has in the past kicked ebooks out of the Kindle Store because they are aggregations of content which is freely available online - exactly what ContentOro is planning. it remains to be seen whether Amazon will view the excerpts licensed by ContentOro in the same light.

Crain's Detriot

image by itsmeritesh

About Nate Hoffelder (11477 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

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