Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp on Wednesday said it has agreed to “an historic” three-year partnership with Google to provide journalism from its news sites around the world in return for significant payments by Google.
It didn’t reveal payment terms but said publications joining the Google News Showcase include the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, MarketWatch and the New York Post in the U.S.; The Times and The Sunday Times and The Sun in the UK; and, in Australia, a range of platforms including The Australian, the news.com.au site, Sky News, and multiple metropolitan and local titles.
Compensation to publishers from Google and Facebook has become a major battleground in Australia and in some European countries. The Australian Parliament is debating legislation that would force digital platforms to negotiate with media companies on payment for using their news. The new law would require binding arbitration if the two sides failed to reach a deal. It would also require tech platforms to give the publishers collective bargaining power and to give them notice of any algorithm changes that would materially affect traffic.
The News Corp. agreement includes the development of a subscription platform, the sharing of ad revenue via Google’s ad technology services, the cultivation of audio journalism, and meaningful investments in innovative video journalism by YouTube.
News Corp. CEO Robert Thomson said the deal would have “a positive impact on journalism around the globe as we have firmly established that there should be a premium for premium journalism.”
“I would like to thank Sundar Pichai and his team at Google who have shown a thoughtful commitment to journalism that will resonate in every country. This has been a passionate cause for our company for well over a decade and I am gratified that the terms of trade are changing, not just for News Corp, but for every publisher,” he said. “The deal simply would not have been possible without the fervent, unstinting support of Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, and the News Corp Board. For many years, we were accused of tilting at tech windmills, but what was a solitary campaign, a quixotic quest, has become a movement, and both journalism and society will be enhanced.”
Thomson also thanked the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who “have stood firm for their country and for journalism.”