Facebook Pays Rupert Murdoch For News

Facebook has agreed to pay Rupert Murdoch's News Corp Australia for journalism from its local print and other media proerties. News Corp is the largest media company to date  to sign agreement with Facebook since a controversial world-first law aimed at making tech platforms pay for news content was passed by Australia’s Federal government. The amount of money Facebook will pay News Corp has not been made public.

This deal follows the introduction of a media bargaining law in Australia, the source of a dispute which led to Facebook blocking access to news content last month. Facebook has also though to have  made a confidential deal with Nine Entertainment, Australia’s biggest locally-owned media giant.  News Corp. has already made a global deal with Google to supply news content in return for payment.

Mr Murdoch's media empire began with his Australian newspapers and the Facebook deal encompasses all of News Corp Australia's content includes  News.com.au, as well as the Fox News-modelled conservative TV network Sky News Australia, which has grown to become the most-shared Australian news brand on Facebook.

News Corp already has a different sort of arrangemnet with Facebook for its US media titles. It involves the platform paying for stories to include in its Facebook News tab - a product not available in Australia. Similar to other publishers, Australian media outlets have lost substantail revenue in the past decade as advertisers have switched to use social media. Both Facebook and Google say that they do not act as publishers, but simply enable people to find news content and help news publishers by driving traffic back to news sites from their platforms. But carrying news content also drives viewers, and advertising money, to the tech giants, news producers say.  

The Australian news media law has been designed to address the lass of advertising revenue from traditional media companies to the digital behemoths: for every $100 of online advertising spend, $53 goes to Google, $28 to Facebook and $19 to everyone else.

The Australian government then drew up legislation to establish "fairer" contract negotiations between media and tech companies. News Corp  CEO Robert Thomson praised the Facebook deal as a "landmark in transforming the terms of trade for journalism". "Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch led a global debate while others in our industry were silent or supine as digital dysfunctionality threatened to turn journalism into a mendicant order," said Mr Thomson.

 The revenue from Google and Facebook will help to employ more journalists and to continue to support public interest journalism in Australia, publishers say.

Bloomberg:      Benzinga:      Guardian:     BBC:     NYT

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