Francis Bea

We’ve picked out four companies attending ad:Tech that are innovating the archaic publishing industry. If you’re a writer, publisher or just interested in the industry, these are the four companies that you should keep an eye on.

Huffington Post

The Huffington Post laid the groundwork for a successful online publication, despite its controversial means of achieving it. The Huffington Post has been recognized as a content aggregation site but has also called on celebrities, politicians and unpaid bloggers to write columns, merely offering exposure and little, if any, financial compensation. The Huffington Post however has been on the cusp of paving the way for how successful online publications can be run. After all, what matters at the end are the page views and the readers that return to read the site.

Recently the fuss around online programming and live streaming has encouraged The Huffington Post to broadcast news online. Just a few months ago, HuffPost Live was launched and included social media as a core feature of the programming. But more significantly its platform provided the tools that allow just about anyone to be a new pundit. Readers, should they be selected by Huffington Post staffers, can be included in the live streamed Google Hangout alongside experts to provide commentary on the issues being discussed on HuffPost Live.

EBook Plus

eBooks can unfortunately be a costly investment, sometimes running as much as the paper counterpart and may even encourage readers to download pirated copies of the book. This is where EBook Plus comes in. Readers can gain access to a library of books for free or a small fee, while the publishers will recoup the costs through ads that are added to the beginning of the book’s chapters by small businesses and advertisers. Using the advertising model, EBook Plus has introduced an innovative business model that just might transform the way the publishing industry offers its content online. However, a period of education may be necessary to acquaint publishers with this new publishing concept before they agree to jump onboard.


Publishing a book is a laborious and risky endeavor, even for veteran authors. Looking for agents and big-box publishers to help manufacture, market and distribute books, let alone take on an author as a client, may be nearly impossible. Even J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter was rejected by 12 different publishers before a small London publishing house greenlighted the manuscript. It doesn’t help that the recession and changes in reader habits have forced publishers to enact stricter restrictions on the authors that they accept. With this in mind, authors can transform their manuscripts into digital or print books using Blurb’s self-publishing service and avoid using agents and publishers. However there are some caveats that authors should be aware of when using a self-publishing service. Blurb leaves it up to the author to market the book and printing a standard 300-page hardcover book can cost three times what you’d find in the bookstore.


Content syndication has been around for some time now, but with the rise of online publishing during the last few years, its services are just beginning to be embraced wholeheartedly. Syndication, if you’re not familiar with it, redistributes content from partnering publications to appear on client publications or platforms. For example, New York Daily News used NewsCred to aggregate all of the content from NewsCred partners that was relevant to the Indian demographic so that it could appear on a newly created New York Daily News portal dedicated to Indian news. Publishers are realizing that having content syndicated onto its sites is cheaper than hiring new staff dedicated to a specific beat. Journalists can also benefit from this seeing their content surfacing on another publication thereby garnering wider exposure for their work.

This article is part of Allvoices’ series on ad:tech, the largest digital marketing and technology conferences and expositions. Check out for more of Allvoices’ ad:tech New York event coverage. This series is supported by ad:tech.