In 2020, digital advertising spending worldwide amounted to US$378 billion — with online platforms Google and Facebook together owning half the market or about $190 billion. For scale, the New York State budget in 2020 was $177 billion.

Meanwhile, news organizations and other publishers have watched the rise of this duopoly with increasing distress. Last year, newspaper advertising spending worldwide was just $US31.4 billion. This figure has slumped markedly since 2007, when it was US$110 billion dollars or more than three times the current number. By 2023, global news ad revenue is forecast to drop to $25.9 billion – a further 18 percent fall since 2020.

So what’s a news publisher to do? Many are turning to lawmakers and regulators for help.

Paying for the News

In Australia, Korea, the European Union and the U.S., governments are considering or taking steps to require technology platforms to license the rights to share or display news content from news publishers.

Where such efforts are successful – beginning in the EU – collective licensing and payment systems may need to be built from the digital ground up. How should those licenses be administered? How might payments be managed? What should qualify as “news”?

A panel of four distinguished authorities on news publishing, intellectual property law and technology addressed these questions last week for the annual RightsTech Summit. Speaking with CCC were –

  • Wout van Wijk, the Executive Director of News Media Europe, which represents over 2,500 media companies including newspapers, radio, television and on the Web. Previously, Wout was Huawei Technologies senior EU affairs manager.
  • Sandra Chastenet. Rightsholders & International Director of the Centre Français d’exploitation du droit de Copies (CFC), the French Collective Management Organisation representing Press content and Books. She has served as president of the Press Database and Licensing Network.
  • Danielle Coffey, Executive Vice President and General Counsel for the News Media Alliance, which represents 2,000 news media outlets worldwide. Danielle leads the organization’s advocacy and strategy. Before joining the News Media Alliance, Danielle was Vice President and General Counsel for the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA).
  • Roy Kaufman, Managing Director of both Business Development and Government Relations at Copyright Clearance Center. Prior to CCC, Kaufman served as Legal Director, John Wiley and Sons, Inc. Kaufman also serves on International Trade Advisory Committee and the Library of Congress’s Copyright Public Modernization Committee.

Author: Christopher Kenneally

Christopher Kenneally hosts CCC's Velocity of Content podcast series, which debuted in 2006 and is the longest continuously running podcast covering the publishing industry. As CCC's Senior Director, Marketing, he is responsible for organizing and hosting programs that address the business needs of all stakeholders in publishing and research. His reporting has appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, The Independent (London), WBUR-FM, NPR, and WGBH-TV.
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