[Startup Interview] Joris van Lierop, founder, The Content Exchange, Netherlands
The Content Exchange is a Dutch startup that targets editors, publishers and freelancers by offering them a content market place where they can do business with each other directly. The startup’s founder Joris van Lierop explains.
Introduce your company
The Content Exchange is a content market place. Publishers, editors, freelancers and marketers that want to share content can do direct business with editors and publishers that want content. The 'maker' of the content decides the price and conditions for use of the content offered.
Who are the founders and what are their professional backgrounds?
The startup was founded by Joris van Lierop and Tom Schenkenberg
Joris van Lierop has been active in publishing in the past 20 years and has been responsible for leading online brands in The Netherlands.
Tom Schenkenberg has been an entrepreneur all his professional life. He has a software company that has serviced many clients in publishing
How is The Content Exchange financed?
It is 100 per cent funded by its founders.
What are, in your opinion, the dynamics of the media industry?
There is a huge competition for attention for media consumers. The big global players dominate the field, by having almost unlimited resources to target and service all online needs. Local publishers need to offer high quality content to attract audiences. More and more there are cooperations and consolidations in order to gain scale to stay competitive with the global players.
Why did you start The Content Exchange? What opportunities did you see?
A lot of high quality content that is produced reaches a limited audience. The content itself may be fantastic, but the author may have limited reach on its own website or apps. The creation of good content is expensive. In order to get better output on content investment, publishers and editors may work together by selling/buying content off each other. That way, great content gets better reach, and publishers access to a vast content collection.
What problem or problems does The Content Exchange solve?
It helps publishers and editors to monetize great content and it makes it provides publisher with access to great content that they don't have to produce all themselves.
What gives The Content Exchange the competitive edge?
We connect content 'makers' and content 'publishers' directly. We make take care of payment, rights and distribution but the users of the platform are in total and direct control. This is different where for example content is licensed to third parties that package and sell it themselves. The Maker and Publisher is in full control.
Who are your customers?
Publishers in a wide spectrum of areas. It may vary from news publishing, magazines or educational. Also freelancers and content marketers can offer their work to TCE.
What does The Content Exchange need in order to grow?
We need funding to accelerate international growth. Content is an International market. With a rich offer of content makers and content buyers, TCE will grow in value of all of its users.
What is your growth strategy?
We closed partnerships with parties that know the markets in Germany, UK and US. It will speed up the process of onboarding publishers in these countries. The platform itself is built from the start to support a multi lingual strategy, so from a technical point of view, we are ready to go.
What are the ambitions of The Content Exchange?
Geographically we want to focus on Benelux, US, UK and Germany. Based on our experiences we will expand to Spanish language regions as Spain and South America.
What are your plans for the coming 12 months?
The platform is ready to run and scale. We now see the first 'deals' happen on the platform. We are focussing on continuous improvements of the platform and scaling it up with more 'makers' and increasing marketing effort on 'buyers'. We want to scale this in an international context the next 12 months.
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