June 10, 2019
According to a study by the News Media Alliance, Google earned $4.7 billion last year from the work of news publishers via the company’s search and Google News services (and the estimate is considered conservative since it does not include the value of personal data that Google collects on readers when they click on an article). The estimate is close to the $5.1 billion from digital advertising the entire U.S. news industry generated in 2018. The News Media Alliance is a trade association that represents more than 2,000 newspapers in North America. Its president and CEO David Chavern says journalists deserve a share of the $4.7 billion.
“The study blatantly illustrates what we all know so clearly and so painfully,” said Terrance Egger, chief executive of Philadelphia Inquirer PBC. “The current dynamics in the relationships between the platforms and our industry are devastating.”
“The News Media Alliance is making the study public in advance of a House subcommittee hearing on Tuesday on the interrelationship of big tech companies and the media,” reports The New York Times. “Chavern said he hoped that an outcome of any conversation generated by the study would be the passage of the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act.”
The proposed bill, which has bipartisan support in the House and Senate, “would give news publishers a four-year antitrust exemption, allowing them to collectively bargain with the owners of online platforms over revenue splitting,” explains NYT (one of the papers represented by the News Media Alliance).
“News is an important form of content that sustains civic society,” said Chavern. “I think everybody, from readers to writers to politicians, understands that if journalism goes away, that’s a horrible outcome for whether we’re able to sustain the republic.”