News Corp on Wednesday (February 17) announced that it has agreed to a historic multi-year partnership with Google to provide journalism from Rupert Murdoch’s media empire in return for significant payments.
Among the News Corp publications joining Google News Showcase will be The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, MarketWatch, and the New York Post; in the UK: The Times and The Sunday Times, and The Sun; and in Australia a range of news platforms, including The Australian, news.com.au, Sky News, and multiple metropolitan and local titles.
The media mogul has long called for Google and other internet platforms like Facebook to pay media companies for news content.
The move comes after lawmakers in Australia have pressed Google to pay up for news content. Google has pledged since last year said it would start to pay some publishers for stories.
Google also announced last year that it has started a licensing program to pay publishers for high-quality content around the world as part of a $1bn initiative. Google has also signed up hundreds of media outlets in Germany, Brazil, and the UK, among others, to participate in its Google News Showcase program.
The payments deal comes just days before Australia passes legislation allowing the government to appoint an arbitrator setting fees for Google and other platforms if they could not discuss deals on payment for news content.
In late 2020, Google has threatened to cut its search engine in Australia over the news content legislation.
On Wednesday, Facebook also said it would restrict news on its platform in Australia in response to the new Media Bargaining law. Mark Zuckerberg’s social media platform starting February 17 will also restrict publishers and people in Australia from sharing or viewing Australian and international news content.
“The proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content. It has left us facing a stark choice: attempt to comply with a law that ignores the realities of this relationship or stop allowing news content on our services in Australia. With a heavy heart, we are choosing the latter,” Facebook said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the landmark three-year agreement between News Corp. and Google also includes the development of a subscription platform, the sharing of ad revenue via Google’s ad technology services, the cultivation of audio journalism, and meaningful investments in innovative video journalism by YouTube.
Robert Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp, said that the deal would have “a positive impact on journalism around the globe as we have firmly established that there should be a premium for premium journalism.
“I would like to thank Sundar Pichai and his team at Google who have shown a thoughtful commitment to journalism that will resonate in every country. This has been a passionate cause for our company for well over a decade and I am gratified that the terms of trade are changing, not just for News Corp, but for every publisher” Thomson said.
“The deal simply would not have been possible without the fervent, unstinting support of Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, and the News Corp Board. For many years, we were accused of tilting at tech windmills, but what was a solitary campaign, a quixotic quest, has become a movement, and both journalism and society will be enhanced.
“Particular thanks are certainly due to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Rod Sims and his able team, along with the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who has stood firm for their country and for journalism.”
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