Journalism’s Saviour Or Excessive Regulation? Google And Facebook Prepare To Pay For News

Online news article on tablet screen. Electronic newspaper or magazine. Latest daily press and media. Mockup of digital portal and website. Happy person using web service in the morning. Reading text.

A mandatory code between media companies and tech giants has the ability to address existing imbalances of power and help save Australian journalism.

That’s the view of LiveRamp ANZ country manager Natalya Pollard, who spoke to B&T following the government’s announcement of the mandatory code, which will be led by the ACCC and will address revenue sharing for the first time.

“Ultimately, the imbalance of power that exists currently in our industry inhibits a healthy digital ecosystem,” said Pollard. “The government’s aim of this code is to help create a level playing field within the industry.”

The concept of such a code was born out of the ACCC’s Digital Platforms Inquiry, which took a deep dive into how these technology platforms had altered the Australian media landscape.

It was initially hoped involved parties could reach an agreement on their own terms, with the voluntary code given until November to take shape.

But the government surprised many last week – including Google and Facebook, both of which had commenced negotiations with media outlets – when it announced it was moving to enforce the agreement.

A draft code of conduct is expected as soon as July.

“While we cannot speculate as to why the government made the decision now to enforce the mandatory code, a likely symptom will be an accelerated path to restoring balance and collaboration industry-wide,” said Pollard.

“The media industry has experienced a collapse in advertising revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to many newsrooms across Australia, especially in regional areas, closing or scaling back their operations.

“The introduction of this code could support Australian journalism and the independent reporting of news.”

continued scrutiny 

The move to force Google and Facebook to pay for news content is just part of the Australian Government’s continued crackdown on tech giants.

Already this year, the ACCC commenced another inquiry into such businesses, this time with a specific focus on ad-tech.

So is the continued scrutiny justified?

“We believe the scrutiny the industry is facing is, to a degree, fair,” said Pollard. “As it stands, our industry needs to regain consumer trust. We failed to create an infrastructure with the consumer at the centre.”

“As an industry, we need to build a system that is strong enough to become self-regulated. This will only eventuate when we truly bring consumers’ data privacy to the forefront of decision making.

“At LiveRamp, we see this as the beginning of a new era of engagement for brands, publishers, marketers, and customers.”

The issues paper for the upcoming inquiry highlights questions around anti-competitive behaviour in the online advertising industry and businesses serving their own interests ahead of the interests of customers.

Pollard explained that like the mandatory code, asking such questions can help address the “power imbalances between digital platforms and media companies”.

“It can be viewed that there is a perception that marketers are self-serving because they engage in behaviour that is seen to ignore the consumers interests,” she said.

“To make sure this behaviour isn’t misguided, the best way for marketers to move forward is to prioritise trust with consumers.

“Data fragmentation is the reason companies struggle to deliver relevant, consistent and meaningful experiences to their customers. By breaking down silos and making data safe and easy to use, businesses will begin to serve customers interests ahead of their own.”


Please login with linkedin to comment

Facebook Google liveramp

Latest News

AnalogFolk Hires Senior Creative Content Specialist Naomi Martin
  • Advertising

AnalogFolk Hires Senior Creative Content Specialist Naomi Martin

Global independent creative agency AnalogFolk has added more creative content firepower to its Sydney team with the appointment of award-winning Naomi Martin as senior copywriter and social lead. Martin’s focus will be further building the agency’s creative and strategic capabilities across editorial, branded content, influencers, creation and production. Formerly head of content at IPG Mediabrand’s […]

Apple Set To Bundle Subscription Services
  • Technology

Apple Set To Bundle Subscription Services

Apple unveils latest initiative that is rumoured to have come to Tim Cook while he was scooping the leaves in his pool.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
SkyBus Welcomes Back NZ Travellers With New Campaign Via Hardhat
  • Campaigns

SkyBus Welcomes Back NZ Travellers With New Campaign Via Hardhat

SkyBus’ latest ‘The Easy Way to Getaway’ campaign via newly awarded creative agency Hardhat aims to give a warm welcome to returning New Zealand travellers, letting them know the airport transfer service is ready and waiting. The win has seen Hardhat lead the charge on SkyBus’ strategy and creative across New Zealand, ensuring confidence in […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Woolworths W23 Longtail UX. From left Will Santow, Longtail UX Co-Founder and Co-CEO; Ingrid Maes, Managing Director W23 and Andreas Dzumla, Longtail UX Co-Founder and Co-CEO. Pictured at Dan Murphys in Mosman. 13th August 2020. Photograph Dallas Kilponen.
  • Technology

Longtail UX Secures $2.25M In Funding From Woolworths Group’s Venture Capital Arm W23

Longtail UX, an Australian founded tech company with 70+ clients across the Americas, EMEA and JAPAC, has today announced a $2.25m supplementary equity raise in partnership with Woolworths Group’s venture capital arm, W23 and Steven Lew-owned group, Global Retail Brands (GRB). The investment builds on the $3m funding round led by Investec through its Investec […]

Enero Posts Net Revenue Increase Of 4.9%
  • Media

Enero Posts Net Revenue Increase Of 4.9%

Forget 2020's plagues, pestilence and famine says Enero, as balance sheet comes out with sweet smell of potpourri.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine