Who should pay for the news? The question is at the centre of an increasingly fraught battle between the world’s large technology companies and traditional news publishers, which are demanding compensation for the use of their content.
Since the internet took off, platforms such as Google and Facebook have become dominant forces in the media landscape as more and more people have turned to them for news. A recent survey found that about half of adult Americans rely on social media “often” or “sometimes” for news. Big Tech’s increasing power has seen platforms rake in the lion’s share of local and classified advertising, helping to undermine the business models of traditional publishers. Newspapers and magazines hosted half of all advertising spending worldwide in 2000. Inside two decades their share of that roughly $530bn market has fallen to less than 10 per cent.