The Big Issue
How far reaching will be decision of Google to pay publishers?
Copyright force behind behemoth change of heart and Facebook's failure to reach agreement in Australia

As the internet giants have sapped their content - advertising and news - the news organisations that have unwillingly fed them have shrivelled to mere shadows of their former glory. As the links on this page show, there is a glimmer of hope as Google leads  the way in making deals with UK, German and French publishers with others no doubt on the way as it rolls out Google Showcase.  The $1bn (£750m) global investment by Google in newspapers and magazines means publishers will be paid a licensing fee for producing extracts of news that appear in Google News Showcase.  New copyright laws being enacted in EU countries (although not yet in the UK) have played a big part in bringing about realisation among the behemoths that they cannot continue to bite off the hand that feeds them and Facebook will hopefully not be far behind in recognising the need for reimbursement. For Stationers' Company, these are yet more major steps in the development of the concept of copyright to which the Company can lay claim to founding 300 years ago. For publishers of news everywhere it is hopefully good news to see the behemoths are edging towards being curators of what they have helped to destroy - even if $1bn might indeed be just "a drop in the ocean" as the Bloomberg article, republished in the BoSacks e-newsletter, suggests.

Can Google Fix the $108 Billion News Industry It Helped Break?

This article from Bloomberg 18 January 2021 circulated by BOSACKS Media Intelligence Courtesy of BoSacks & The Precision Media Group America's Oldest e-newsletter est.1993 www.bosacks.com

Can Google Fix the $108 Billion News Industry It Helped Break?

By Alex Webb

https://bloom.bg/3nYgDLt

 

The innovation that turned Google and Facebook into money-making behemoths wasn’t search or social networking. It was selling advertising space alongside content they got for free.

 

Now, as regulatory investigations in the U.S., Europe and beyond raise the prospect of breaking up the Silicon Valley companies, they’re tweaking that formula. The two firms are striking deals to start paying one important source of that content: news organizations. Not only does this help bring them in line with new copyright laws, it also gives them the chance to regain the media industry’s trust.

 

Later this month, Facebook will launch its news tab (which has been available in the U.S. since 2019) in the U.K., with names such as the Guardian, the Economist and the Independent. Google has meanwhile started rolling out its latest news offering, the Google News Showcase, which is already live in Germany with 20 publications, including the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Der Spiegel and Die Zeit. Next up it’s going to the U.K., France, Belgium and Australia.

 

Both products set a significant precedent in that the tech giants are paying publishers to license their stories.

 

In the past, any revenue the two companies directed toward publishers came from either one-off philanthropic funding for news projects or a share of ad income from users clicking on a story — neither of which has been enough to build a sustainable media business. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP expects the global newspaper industry’s combined advertising and circulation revenue to fall from $108 billion to $86 billion between 2019 and 2024.

 

A Drop in the Ocean

Google’s three-year plan to spend $1 billion on news content represents just 5% of the sales the industry will lose. Its own 2024 revenue will hit $273 billion.

 

To be sure, the new licensing fees are, in relative terms, insubstantial. Major publishers in Germany are receiving a flat fee of just a few million euros a year each from Google — between 1% and 2% of their annual revenue. Given that the search giant can account for more than a quarter of their traffic, it’s a drop in the ocean. Facebook is paying similar amounts in the U.K.

 

The trade-off is the ability to cultivate a relationship with readers who are already on these platforms, because these products will direct them to a publication’s website to read the story. That hasn’t been the case with Apple Inc.’s News+ offering or Microsoft Corp.’s websites — both of which keep readers on their platform and obscure data from publishers, who are nonetheless paid for their stories. Microsoft is developing another news product for Windows that will host the stories itself. Perhaps now the publishers with which it’s in early talks will have a stronger bargaining hand.

 

The Google News Showcase is made up of so-called “cards,” each focusing on a topic — say sports, finance or Covid — and displaying stories selected by news organizations. Should a user click on a given story, they’re directed to the publication’s website paywall-free, thanks to the license fee paid by Google. Conveniently for the Alphabet Inc. unit, the contracts let it use the stories across any of its other products. Facebook’s news tab will similarly push readers to a publication’s website.

 

These products are separate from the stories that appear in Facebook newsfeeds or Google search results — the platforms should arguably pay extra for that. But news executives hope that this effort marks a first step toward more sustainable recurring revenue agreements.

 

There remains a great deal of skepticism from news organizations, since they have been burned repeatedly in the past. For years, Facebook encouraged companies, public figures and publishers to cultivate an audience through Facebook pages. After those groups invested time, money and effort, the California firm then changed the way content was surfaced, making it very hard to reach that same audience without paying for promotion.

 

That’s one reason that some publishers are more comfortable receiving just a small fee from the tech companies when they could reasonably seek more: If it was a more sizable payment, then they’d risk becoming beholden to the Silicon Valley firms’ whims.

 

The new contracts guarantee revenue from Google and Facebook for three years — an aeon in technology half-lives. As much as news executives are excited about the precedent that is being set, they need to ensure these deals yield meaningful results, primarily by attracting new subscribers.

 

As antitrust pressures on Google and Facebook mount, it’s in their interest to help the news business develop sustainable economic models. Doing so might ease the criticism they face for upturning those models in the first place — and ward off additional regulation. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. has championed new rules in Australia that force the tech giants to share more digital ad revenue. Paying for news should also improve the quality of platforms that have become a hotbed for misinformation. 

 

A healthy news industry is good for democracy. For the tech giants, it should also be good for business.

https://www.dailysabah.com/business/tech/copyright-issue-puts-tech-giants-under-new-spotlight-in-turkey

 

Copyright issue puts tech giants under new spotlight in Turkey 

 

Google agrees to pay French publishers for news

PUBLISHED THU, JAN 21 20219:12 AM ESTUPDATED THU, JAN 21 202111:56 AM EST

 

Ryan Browne

@RYAN_BROWNE_

 

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/21/google-agrees-to-pay-french-publishers-for-news.html

 

Google slams Australia law forcing tech giants to pay for news

 

 

https://www.bangkokpost.com/tech/1969647/google-slams-australia-law-forcing-tech-giants-to-pay-for-news

 

Sui generis database rights from 1 January 2021

 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/sui-generis-database-rights-after-the-transition-period

Wednesday 10 February 2021 9:36 am

Google to pay UK publishers for news as global pressure mounts but Facebook stands firm in Australia bust up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Google has inked a licensing deal with more than 120 UK publications as pressure mounts on tech giants to pay publishers for news.

The launch of Google News Showcase, part of the company’s pledge to invest $1bn (£750m) in news worldwide, means publishers will be paid for excerpts that appear in its search results.

https://www.cityam.com/google-to-pay-uk-publishers-for-news-as-global-pressure-mounts/

PUBLISHED THU, JAN 21 20219:12 AM ESTUPDATED THU, JAN 21 202111:56 AM EST

Google said Thursday it will pay French publishers for news content in a major digital copyright deal

  • The agreement comes after several months of talks between Google France and France’s Alliance de la Presse d’Information Generale.

  • Google said it would negotiate individual licenses with members of the alliance.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/21/google-agrees-to-pay-french-publishers-for-news.html

Copyright issue puts tech giants under new spotlight in Turkey 

Ömer Fatih Sayan, the deputy minister of transport and infrastructure, signaled that the next step in digital media is the issue of copyright which is also on the agendas of some European countries currently.

https://www.dailysabah.com/business/tech/copyright-issue-puts-tech-giants-under-new-spotlight-in-turkey

Tuesday 9 February 2021 12:35 pm

EU weighs up forcing tech giants to pay for news

https://www.cityam.com/eu-weighs-up-forcing-tech-giants-to-pay-for-news/

Picture: City AM

Big tech media Aussie war

Publishing Industry reacts to Facebook’s Australia news ban

By Jamie Gavin

https://www.fipp.com/

https://bit.ly/3jZwzwC

19 Feb 2020

Yesterday, Facebook took what it described as a ‘heavy heart’ decision to stop allowing news content on its services in Australia. The move comes on the back of the country’s proposed new Media Bargaining legislation and the tensions between government, tech giants, and publishers that have escalated in recent months. The ban will restrict publishers and people in Australia from sharing or viewing Australian and international news content.

All this on the same day it is announced Murdoch empire signs licensing deal with Google

Murdoch empire signs licensing deal with Google
http://digitaleditions.telegraph.co.uk/data/514/reader/reader.html?social#!preferred/0/package/514/pub/514/page/118/article/143237

Google threatens to withdraw search engine from Australia

 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-55760673

Google slams Australia law forcing tech giants to pay for news

https://www.bangkokpost.com/tech/1969647/google-slams-australia-law-forcing-tech-giants-to-pay-for-news

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