The Australian Parliament discusses legislation that requires: Google and Facebook Entering payment negotiations with media companies for the use of their content with an arbitrator in charge of making a decision in the event that an agreement cannot be reached.
Internet companies have stepped back against the legislation, and the struggle is being watched around the world, given the impact the result could have in geographies, including India. Also, there is a refocusing on a template made available in South Korea with some success.
About four years ago, Naver, South Korea’s most popular news site and largest search engine, came up with an unconventional model for working with Korean news publishers – identifying around 125 outlets as “Naver News in-link partners” and paying them for publication. was doing. Stories about Naver. Other 500 strange news sources are free “search partners”. The total payment exceeded $ 40 million in 2017.
While this wasn’t the perfect model – news outlets were generally unhappy with their share; There has also been controversy recently over Naver’s allegations that he manipulated the ranking of articles criticizing South Korea’s top football federation at the request of the latter – the template remains functional in a country where about 85 percent of the population accesses news online.
The fight in australia
Google threatened to remove its search engine from Australia last week. Facebook said it could prevent Australian users from posting or sharing news links if the recommended norms for copyright payments are implemented.
Representatives of the tech majors went to a Senate hearing in Canberra last Friday. They argued that the media industry is already taking advantage of the traffic directed to them by digital platforms, and the proposed rules would expose them to “unmanageable levels of financial and operational risk”.
Companies response elsewhere
Bloomberg and some other media reported that Facebook plans to launch the news tab feature in the UK (available in the US since 2019) with possible links to The Guardian, The Economist, and The Independent. And Google launches its news offering platform, Google News Showcase.
Both platforms aim to formalize payment agreements with news organizations. The News Showcase, which includes story panels that allow participating publishers to pack stories that appear in Google’s news products, has more than 450 publications in more than a dozen countries, including Le Monde, Le Figaro, Google said last week. and Libération in France; El Cronista and La Gaceta in Argentina; TAG24 and Sachsische Zeitung in Germany; and from Jornal do Commercio, Brazil, Pernambuco.
In December 2020, Google announced that “it will soon begin to offer users access to paywalled content, in partnership with certain news publishers.” He said he would pay participating partners to provide limited access to paywalled content for News Showcase users.
Google said last Thursday it will pay news broadcasts in France for online use of their content. Tech expert and APIG, a French news media group, said in a joint statement that, after months of talks, they agreed on which news feeds should be compensated for their content distribution on Google platforms.
However, Google’s first response to France’s adoption of EU copyright rules was to stop viewing news pieces until the French competition regulator kicked off in October last year. Google has also pulled the plug on the Google News service. Spainobliging publishers to pay.
Paying for the newsletter seems less of a problem for tech giants, given that Google entered into an agreement to pay for news broadcasts in France just hours before threatening to remove search functionality in Australia. The fight in Australia is obviously focused on how much control these companies can have over their payment processes – operational aspects such as deciding the amount of payment for news sources and uncovering changes in their algorithms. The heavy fines proposed by Canberra are seen as an additional problem.
Unlike Naver’s largely voluntary action in Korea, it is impossible to deny the drastic action of the regulators behind Facebook and Google’s moves to launch platforms like the proposed news tab and Showcase.
European authorities specifically linked the payments to royalty, without putting a coercive device in the deals. On the other hand, Australia’s laws focus almost exclusively on the bargaining power of news organizations against technology sectors and have some compelling features. This is more of a competition issue in Australia, with the problem of the abuse of power equations between traditional news outlets and technology platforms, which is suspended in balance by the latter.
Australian regulators initially proposed a voluntary code of conduct, but have since increased pressure. Australia’s competition regulator warned that the planned laws to force Google and Facebook to pay for news content are “likely the beginning of more regulation for digital platforms.”
“This bargain code is a journey, if we see market power elsewhere, we can add it to the code,” Rod Sims, chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, said in an interview with Reuters. FCA, the competition watchdog in France, imposed restrictions on major tech companies last year. The FCA rated Google’s move withdrawal of news pieces as “unfair and damaging to the press industry” and likely meant an abuse of market dominance.
Controversy in india
Policymakers in India have so far focused on the domination of intermediaries such as Google and Facebook, which are positioned so that service providers cannot reach customers outside of these platforms.
The discussions in Australia and elsewhere may have broader implications for regulating the digital economy in India in the long run. A significant debate about the impact of intermediary platforms on the health of news media organizations has not yet begun in a meaningful way here.
According to a report by FICCI-EY on India’s media and entertainment industry for 2020, there are 300 million users of online news sites, portals and aggregators in the country – nearly 46% of Internet users in India and 77% of smartphone users. make up. The end of 2019.
With 282 million unique visitors, India is the second largest online news consumer after China. In India, digital advertising spending increased 24% year-on-year in 2019 to Rs 27,900, according to EY estimates, and is expected to rise to Rs 51,340 by 2022.
Globally, Facebook and Google together account for 61% of the market share in digital ad spend, according to Edelweiss Research; Google is the leader with 37%. On a separate note, Edelweiss said he expects digital spending to accelerate further. Kovid-19.
Other important news aggregators in India are Dailyhunt, which collects funds from its parent company (VerSe Innovation) Google, and Microsoftand InShorts powered by Tiger Global. Publishers were initially paid between 5-6 lakhs per month for content hosted on Dailyhunt, according to a January 2020 report by Harvard University’s Nieman Lab – but after the terms were changed, they began to exit the platform. The report noted that Malayala Manorama was one of the first major publishers to come out of Dailyhunt in 2017. Startups like Dailyhunt and InShorts are yet a model of sustainable revenue, even if the conversation in India hasn’t reached the point where news aggregators have the authority to pay publishers.