Google Publisher Payoff is Murdoch Approved

October 26, 2020

Back in 2018, News Corp. Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch took Google and Facebook to task for publishing news sites’ content on their platforms without compensation. News Corp has also consulted on a number of investigations into these companies’ practices and pressed for new regulations. Now, though, it looks like Google’s recent move to appease regulators has the news magnate convinced that company is ready to play fair. Axios reports, “News Corp. Changes its Tune on Big Tech.” Writer Sara Fischer tells us:

“One of the biggest news publishing companies in the world has slowly backed away from its harsh public criticism of Big Tech platforms, as companies like Google and Facebook have begun to open up their wallets to news companies.

“Why it matters: News Corp. has for years been the driving force behind much of the regulatory scrutiny of Big Tech and its impact on the publishing industry. Now it’s becoming a beneficiary of the massive pockets of several of the largest tech companies.

“Driving the news: News Corp. CEO Robert Thomson put out a statement lauding Google’s new efforts to pay publishers around the world more than $1 billion to license and curate their content last week. ‘There are complex negotiations ahead but the principle and the precedent are now established,’ he wrote.”

In fact, News Corp already has profitable partnerships with Facebook, Apple, Twitter, Spotify, Snapchat, and Amazon. Google may just be next to fall in line. Fischer observes:

“There was a time several years ago that media companies, with proper investment and scale, could demand big ad dollars via traffic from platforms like Google and Facebook. Today, media companies with value and investment can pull something even more sustainable from those platforms: licensing fees.”

There is nothing like a boost to the bottom line to change one’s point of view.

Cynthia Murrell, October 26, 2020

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