The announcement that Google has reached a deal with eight publishers, in which the tech giant will pay for news contents, has prompted News Media Canada to call on the federal government to level the playing field and enable all news media to negotiate collectively for compensation.
Google announced it will launch a product called Google News Showcase this fall and pay news organizations for access to content, give media companies the ability to sell advertising around their stories, and sign up new subscribers. This is part of an initiative from Google parent, Alphabet Inc., and its US$1 billion commitment to global media.
The media companies include The Globe and Mail, Black Press Media, Glacier Media, Metro Media, SaltWire Network, Winnipeg Free Press, Narcity Media, and Village Media. Google is expected to continue to negotiate with other media firms.
“Until news media in this country can negotiate collectively with Google and Facebook, the two multinationals will continue to divide and conquer, using their power and market dominance to drive terms that are in their favour,” said Jamie Irving, chair of News Media Canada. “Far from contributing to the resolution of the problem, this approach only solidifies their stranglehold.”
News Media Canada would like to see the approach adopted in Australian, which requires the web giants to negotiate collectively with that country’s news media to provide fair compensation for content.