Google to make ‘significant’ payments to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp

What's New in Publishing 18 Feb 2021 08:59

In a move that could herald the start of a sea-change in relations between Silicon Valley and publishers, Google confirmed yesterday it had inked a landmark deal with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. 

The deal will see the publisher’s titles in both the U.S. and UK (including The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, The Times, The Sun, and others) make some of their content freely available on its Google News Showcase. The exact terms of the deal have not been disclosed but are said to be ‘significant’.

News Corp. disclosed that the deal involves the development of a subscription platform, the sharing of ad revenue via Google’s ad tech services, as well as the further investment in podcasts, audio and video journalism.

Robert Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp, said that the deal would have “a positive impact on journalism around the globe as we have firmly established that there should be a premium for premium journalism.”

The deal immediately sparked a wide range of industry reactions, mostly skewed to the downside. Whilst, on one hand, the news that Google is paying publishers for content could be seen as a move in the right direction, industry observers reflected that smaller publishers without the heavyweight presence of News Corp. will continue to be sidelined or ignored.

Other industry commentators were more forthright. Jeff Jarvis, a professor of journalism and author of “What Would Google Do?, tweeted, “Google & FB won’t change; they will maintain unread news features as loss makers to pay off the publishers. The publishers won’t change because they got a little more money. Startups will suffer. News will suffer. Society will suffer. Well done everyone.”

It comes at a time when media companies globally are watching Australia as it moves to pass a law that would allow companies to join forces and negotiate directly with the Silicon Valley giants for payment. The bill has already made considerable progress and is expected to be passed into law. In response, Google has threatened to deny search engine access in Australia if the bill becomes law.

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News CorpGoogleRupert Murdochs News CorpRobert ThomsonMartin Tisn
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