Google and Meta Owe U.S. Publishers $14 Billion a Year

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Image: News circulation

When has a day gone by when Google or Meta have not grazed the news cycle? Judging by their excessive coverage, one might assume these mega corporations owe these news publishers billions.

However, the task of even estimating a figure behind it has proven to be difficult. Since audience behaviors cannot be precisely monitored, it is tough to evaluate what value the coverage has brought to these corporations.

The current ongoing debate is regarding whether these corporations even need the news anymore. Aren’t Google and Meta driving traffic towards these news sites?

One could argue that based on the increase in subscribers and regular readers these corporations might be adding great value to the news.

The Value of News Content

According to the research, news content accounts for a substantial portion of user engagement and advertising revenue on these platforms, yet publishers receive minimal compensation. 

“I think journalism is a great way to do public service, to have an impact on your community.”

Bob Schieffer, American journalist.

The study suggests that failing to adequately compensate publishers could lead to a diminished quality of news, ultimately hurting both platforms and consumers.

Addressing the Imbalance

The study’s second major takeaway underscores the need for a fair and transparent revenue-sharing model between tech platforms and news organizations. 

The researchers found that Google and Meta currently retain a disproportionate share of the revenue generated from news content, leaving publishers with mere crumbs. 

This imbalance threatens the sustainability of the news industry and could lead to a decline in quality journalism, ultimately harming the public’s access to reliable information.

Takeaway

Even though there exist 2 sides to this debate, studies prove that when it comes to value, both sectors benefit almost equally.  

While Google and Meta gain coverage through media, news publishers gain subscribers and readers thereby increasing their traction.

We live in a symbiotic society. Every institute, whether it may or may not choose to, interacts with other entities and institutes. 

Media and businesses will keep interacting, overlapping, and correlating to each other. These entities cannot survive on their own.

While it is easy to be dismissive of a particular industry, we must recognize the value it provides.

We only survive and thrive when we work together.


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