News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller has confirmed the publishing giant has begun negotiations with Google and Facebook around fresh subscriptions to its online content and improved search results.
Speaking to The Australian, Miller said News Corp was now having more productive conversations globally with both digital powerhouses around the removal of “first click free” programs, as well as creating a subscription platform with Facebook.
“Those conversations are a few weeks old now,” he said. “We are glad to be at the table having those conversations which are industry solutions.”
Miller’s comments come after News Corp CEO Robert Thomson revealed last month that the company was in “advanced” discussions with Facebook over online content subscriptions.
The resulting deal could involve bundling subscription content around topics such as sport and business, according to Sky News.
Miller’s comments also coincide with his address yesterday to the Melbourne Press Club, in which he noted that Google and Facebook dominate the new advertising landscape, accounting for 85 per cent of new digital revenues over the past year.
News Corp’s executive chairman also used his address to criticise media organisations for giving “unique journalism” away for free to both consumers and new competitors such as Google and Facebook.
“It is a cruel irony that here we are, organisations who invest in journalism and support the creation of unique, local content for Australian audiences, in the fight of our lives against international players – who, despite their scale, lack our local commitment, influence and impact,” Miller said.
However, Miller also slammed Aussie media organisations for their lack of investment in local content.
“While we can justifiably blame technology, society’s changes, piracy, global players, government and legislation for our current dire state, we must assume some of the blame ourselves,” he said.
“The fact is less is being invested in Australian content across all mediums, and the challenge of producing great content is harder to meet.