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Print syndication distributes news articles, columns, comic strips and other features to newspapers, magazines and websites. They offer reprint rights and grant permissions to other parties for republishing content of which they own/represent copyrights.
According to historian Elmo Scott Watson, print syndication began in 1841 with a two-page supplement produced by New York Sun publisher Moses Yale Beach and sold to a score of newspapers in the U.S. northeast.
The first American newspaper syndicate was the McClure Newspaper Syndicate, launched in 1884 by publisher S. S. McClure. It was the first successful company of its kind, turning the marketing of comic strips, columns, book serials and other editorial matter into a large industry; a century later, 300 syndicates were distributing 10,000 features with combined sales of $100 million a year.
Prominent contemporary syndication services include:
IFA-Amsterdam (International Feature Agency) provides news and lifestyle content to publications. Cagle Cartoons offers newspaper editorial cartoons and columns. 3DSyndication comprises syndication service from India, the India Today Group's Syndications Today, and Times Syndication Service of India.
A comic strip syndicate functions as an agent for cartoonists and comic strip creators, placing the cartoons and strips in as many newspapers as possible on behalf of the artist. In some cases, the work will be owned by the syndicate as opposed to the creator. A syndicate can annually receive thousands of submissions from which only two or three might be selected for representation. The leading strip syndicates include Andrews McMeel Syndication, King Features Syndicate, and Creators Syndicate, with the Tribune Content Agency and The Washington Post Writers Group also in the running.
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