State of play: Where the battle with Google and Facebook to pay for news is hottest

Digiday 07 Sep 2020 04:01
September 7, 2020 by Lucinda Southern

For over a decade, regional publishers have been battling with Google, and more recently Facebook, to reimburse them for distributing publisher content on their free platforms. Those spats seem to be heating up as publisher pursuit of revenue during the coronavirus-induced recession becomes increasingly fraught.

While the skirmishes differ in each region, there are a few recurring similarities; regulators want to “level the playing field” on monopolistic tech platforms so publishers can be remunerated for the content shared. Critics and platforms attest that regulators don’t understand — and are not quick enough — to adapt to internet-based business models.

The duopoly also points to how they support the news industry via funding, content licensing programs like Facebook Watch, and carriage fees, while not making much money from news, but still delivering monetizible traffic to publishers. 

Democratic ideologies like free access to news and funding journalism are being flung back and forth in the fray. Here’s a look at how the other regulators and publishers around the world have been trying to get those platforms to pay up.  

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