Does this mean Australia has belled the cat…. In a way yes. Though Google has come into an understanding with France. It was Australia’s deal that has remained as an eye-opener or indeed a groundbreaker of legislation. Australia’s Seven West Media is supposed to have signed a deal with Google under which Google has to pay for the inclusion of news in its search pages. It’s all started with the Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) of Australia, stressing upon media companies to bargain monitory benefits for their news feed featuring on tech giants’ spaces. A large number of internet user get their daily dose of news from these tech giants feeds instead of visiting the media companies’ websites.
Media companies were under burden the world over and have been complaining for years that they were not fairly remunerated for their content that generated ad revenue for platforms like Google and Facebook; but the tech companies kept largely ignored. But Google’s rush to pay up in Australia only exposed how a little threat could sharply alter the behaviour of the global tech. The question largely remains how far governments can go to compel the tech platforms to pay for news.
In the wake of the situation Indian Newspaper society has urged to pass on 85 per cent of the advertising revenue and that the technology giant to ensure more transparency in revenue reports provided to the publishers. The amount the Google or Facebook has to pay will depend on individual companies deal; either it could be pay per click or a fee per month.
This move is absolutely necessary not just to protect traditional media companies from dying due to technological disruption but to give a level playing ground as the content generated and published by newspapers come up with a considerable expense. As it employs thousands of journalists on the ground at considerable expense for gathering and verifying information.
With the diminishing share of advertising pie with every passing day will this effort bring the needed respite for the fund starved parched newspaper industry. Let’s wait and watch.
May this be the beginning of a broader reckoning….