Content syndication is a method by which writings find their way around the ether of the Internet. Specifically, one article that a person writes could appear, with the writer's permission, on many websites. The key word there is permission, which the writer is supposed to give before a website reprints his or her article. In many cases today, because it is so easy to cut and paste electronically, articles appear in syndication without the requisite author permission.
A content syndication agreement usually involves some form of compensation to the original author. This can be as little as acknowledging the author's name. It could include the author's name and website address. The agreement might even include monetary compensation.
This type of agreement can be for one article or for many. It can also be an ongoing agreement under which the author or authors agree to provide periodical writings that the website(s) will then publish on a daily or otherwise regular basis. With the explosion of web publishing tools in the past few years, it has become easier and easier for people to publish their writings on the web. Be they articles or reports or blogs or travelogues, these writings are prime candidates for content syndication to certain interested parties.
One very common form of content syndication these days is RSS, which stands for Really Simple Syndication. This RSS is a "feed," which is a constant source of articles from all over the Net, which are "fed" to websites that subscribe to the feed.
The benefit of syndication to the author can be immense: he or she gets his or her name out there in the cyber sea; and this publicity could lead to contacts, more publicity, and even money. A writer could even be "discovered" through syndication. The benefit of content syndication to the website publisher is potentially huge as well: it gives him or her a constant source of new material that can be run on the site. With the immediacy of the Internet driving news content these days, it is imperative that websites be updated continually and appear to be fresh and new, even if the content isn't personally written by the website's publisher(s).
Types of writings that are part of content syndication agreements include news articles; blogs; political and cultural commentaries; reviews of TV, music, books, and other forms of media; travel pieces; sports scores and stories; stock quotes and analysis; and even full-length songs or movies.