As U.S. Fight Brews, Canada Shows People Turn To Broadcasters When News Leaves Facebook. | Story

As U.S. Fight Brews, Canada Shows People Turn To Broadcasters When News Leaves Facebook. | Story

Broadcasters and news providers are pushing for laws that would allow them to negotiate with dominant digital platforms like Facebook and Google over fair terms and conditions for picking up their content. A law was passed in Canada last year requiring online companies to negotiate licensing agreements to pay news publishers. That caused Meta to pull the plug on the news. Facebook and Instagram users will no longer be able to view or share news content in Canada, including news articles and audiovisual content from radio stations. But a surprising ray of hope could give US broadcasters and news providers hope.

Just-released data from Media Technology Monitor shows Canadian broadcasters are the most popular source of online news among Canadians. After Meta shut down news last year, MTM says nearly three in 10 (29%) online Canadians say they are using Canadian news organizations' websites or apps more frequently. “While Canadians say they are more likely to use traditional media like television and radio for news content, 18- to 34-year-olds are more likely to use YouTube and other social networking platforms to get their content,” says a new report .

There is also a high level of awareness of what is happening. According to MTM, three-quarters (78%) of online Canadians know that Meta is blocking messages on Facebook and Instagram, even though users of those sites are less aware of what is happening – a natural consequence of both sites no longer showing messages. Critics of the social media giant can also point to MTM data that shows more than a third (35%) of online Canadians feel they will consume less Canadian news because of the meta ban, with women and 18 to 34 year olds are most likely to feel this way.

Broadcasters on both sides of the border have criticized Meta for holding news “hostage.” The National Association of Broadcasters and the Canadian Association of Broadcasters support legislation that they say will allow news providers to negotiate with tech giants. “These retaliatory tactics demonstrate Meta’s monopolistic dominance of the advertising market and its ability to dictate how radio and television stations, newspapers and others can reach their audiences online,” the trade groups said in a joint statement last year.

However, Meta has argued that it is the news outlets that have benefited from the distribution channel and that they have generated new news by providing news on their platforms About $175 million worth of free marketing per year for news agencies. “We know that the people who use our platforms don’t come to us for news,” it said in a blog post after it made headlines in Canada.

US Fight Brews

What's happening in Canada could serve as a preview of what's to come in the United States. A similar bill, the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (P. 1094), is currently pending in Congress.

Meanwhile, in California, the state legislature is taking matters into its own hands. One proposal that would require major tech companies to pay publishers – including local radio stations – a “journalism usage fee” every time they use local news content and sell advertising alongside it was approved by the state assembly Last June. The California Journalism Preservation Act (AB 886) would require news publishers to invest 70% of royalties profits in journalism jobs. It has received support from the California Broadcasters Association and other trade groups that see the problem seen as crucial to the survival of local journalism.

But Google has called it the creation of a “link tax” and warned that California's bill would “endanger” the news ecosystem and threatened that it would lead to “significant changes” to how web traffic is controlled in the state would.

The proposal is already having an impact. Google A testing process began last month That is, it is intended to prepare for the impact of the CJPA. This involves removing links to California news websites to measure the impact of the legislation. It also paused all further investments in the California news ecosystem, including new partnerships through Google News Showcase, its product and licensing program for news organizations. The planned expansions of the Google News Initiative will also be delayed indefinitely.

Google Vice President Jaffer More wrote in a blog post that CJPA would “favor media conglomerates and hedge funds” and would not help publishers of any size grow their audiences. “CJPA would also penalize small publishers and limit consumers’ access to a diverse local media ecosystem,” says Zaidi. He also pointed out that more and more people are getting their news through short videos, topical newsletters, social media and curated podcasts.