SubHub (news, site), a membership website platform provider, joined forces with Conduit (site), a provider of free SaaS web publishing platform. The new partnership will give SubHub access to Conduit’s 200,000 web publishers and 60 million users, while Conduit gets a complete set of SubHub's marketing tools they didn't have before. What are the other advantages?
Already, the partnership has produced a co-branded website giving SubHub site owners a custom community toolbar for IE, Firefox and Safari. Conduit, in the meantime, gets access to SubHub clients and, presumably, means of charging for services. After all, that’s what SubHub does.
Founded in 2005, SubHub is a UK-based membership website platform with offices in the U.S. that digitizes content, puts it up online and enables clients to charge a subscription fee for that content. According to SubHub much of the content comes in the form of articles, access members-only forum and digital downloads, including video and audio.
To work out how much that might actually be worth, the company gives the example of a niche site that might charge US$ 9.97 per month. Its with 1000 subscribers. In such a scenario the website owner might earn in the region of US$ 120,000 per year minus costs. They point out that there are hundreds of websites with between 2000 and 5000 subscribers and quite a number with up to 50,000 subscribers. SubHub doesn’t, however, claim to have exclusive access to these sites, but you get the idea.
And following the development of a commercial partnership with iDevAffiliate earlier this month, users can now even set up their own affiliate program. So you can do the math yourself and you get some idea of why Conduit might be interested in cutting a slice of this pie.
Hosted Publishing Environment
The attraction of Conduit for SubHub lies in the web publishing and web development environment itself, where would-be designers or content providers (sellers) can with minimum effort create new marketing tools to distribute their content, or applications.
The Conduit platform includes a web publishing environment, where little technical skills are required to create and deploy a custom community toolbar or distribute online content to other members. To date, community toolbars powered by Conduit have been installed by more than 60 million users and deployed in more than 80 languages in about 120 countries.
It offers rich APIs and enables integration with any software or social media technology. The platform includes modules for sharing content and applications, including the Conduit Marketplace, the 2go syndication tool.
Add into that tools for each step of the online marketing process -- including promotional tools, desktop alerts and rich analytics -- and you have quite an attractive option for company with loads of content, no IT department or money to invest in one, and limited market possibilities without an online presence.
It looks like an option worth looking at if you were considering taking your content online. And while all seems very straightforward -- and probably is -- there doesn’t appear to be any pricing scheme for the combined solution.
As it stands now, SubHub will cost users US$ 818(£ 497) yearly, or US$ 82 per month, but its not clear whether this will cover the combined solution while Conduit doesn’t say how much their services cost.
[UPDATE (20-Aug-2009): According to a Conduit representative, their service is free to both publishers and users, and will remain so for the foreseeable future.]