News Corp in talks to charge Google, Facebook for journalism

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 9 November 2018
News Corp's Australian papers

News Corp is in “active negotiations” with technology giants to establish a content carriage fee for the distribution of its journalism.

According to a report in The Australian, the media company is in talks with Google, Amazon and Facebook as well as  politicians and regulators in Europe, Britain, Australia and the US to have digital giants pay publishers for articles and video content.

While the idea has previously been raised by News Corp executive chairman Rupert Murdoch, chief executive Robert Thomson says it's now gaining momentum.

It comes as media companies continue to lose advertising revenue to tech giants, with News Corp yesterday reporting a 7% decline in advertising from the previous year at its general meeting in New York.

However, Thomson said it was successfully repositioning itself to thrive in the new media environment as it revealed a $US2.52 billion revenue.

“In the first quarter, our growth in revenue and earning reaffirmed our strategy to focus on digital development, and to put particular emphasis on subscription as the advertising market continues to evolve,” Thomson said in an ASX report.

Publishers around the world have the world have become beholden to Facebook and Google in recent years who have offered them access to huge audiences but deliver little monetisation.

The relationship between News Corp and tech giants is especially tense, with Thomson recently calling for review of their algorithms and Murdoch ramping up his attack early this year.

Locally, execs from News Corp, as well as rivals at Fairfax and The Guardian, have called for Facebook to improve its business model and help publishers remain profitable.

If these discussions move ahead between News Corp and the digital giants, it would be a win for all publishers globally.

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