Despite all the work media companies put into their Facebook and other social media channels, it has not turned into any significant source of revenue.  If you’re in the business you know that. You get some traffic from social media, but not any real dollars.

A research report by trade association Digital Content Next confirms that.  DCN looked at how Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube and other platforms are partnering with premium digital publishers to attract users and grow advertising revenue.

No Change In The Last 12 Months

The report found that despite the constant changes in distributed content policies and business practices, little has changed for publishers in the last 12 months.

Facebook and Google, the two dominant companies generating the most revenue for publishers together account for less than 30 percent of the total distributed content revenue and represent only 5 percent of the total average digital revenue for publishers.

However, overall revenues from distributed content grew from 14 percent in last year’s report and now represent 16 percent of the participating publishers’ digital revenues.

Video revenue continues to drive monetization, representing an estimated 83% of the total, with TV/cable companies reaping the lion’s share of third-party platform monetization and growth through OTT and syndication.

Facebook Overtakes YouTube For Publisher Revenues

Facebook overtook YouTube in 2017 as the individual platform generating the most revenue for publishers, capturing $1.3 million (50 percent of social platform revenue) in H2 2016 and $1.5 million (59 percent of social platform revenue) in H1 2017.

What About Snapchat?

In addition, publishers say that marketers continue to be interested in Snapchat’s young demographic, but dislike the ad product which is easily skipped and has low (under three seconds) average view times. ‘

Facebook Changes The News Feed

It remains to be seen how Facebook’s January 2018 announcement to deprioritize certain publisher content in the news feed and prior shifts in its video business model – as well as Snapchat’s changes to its monetization model and self-service Ad Manager API – will affect publishers’ interests and monetization.

Revenue Doesn’t Match Investment

“The revenue earned from distributed platforms does not yet match the investment and tremendous value of… news and entertainment,” said Jason Kint, CEO, DCN.

Despite the challenges, DCN found that publishers remain active across a range of channels distributing and monetizing content off of their sites at levels relatively similar to last year. All publishers are distributing through social media and syndication channels, while slightly more than half of the sample report distribution through Google AMP and through OTT. Facebook and Twitter remain the most used of the channels followed closely by YouTube and Instagram.

“Distributed content remains an integral part of publishers’ strategic plans,” said Kint. “The continuous platform changes create challenges for publishers but they must continue to partner, test and drive for the best value for their premium content on the platforms that control such significant audiences and attention.”

Read more and get some tips on how to deal with this at DCN.