NEWS26 September 2018

Newspaper body calls for tech firm levy

Media News Technology UK

UK – The British newspaper industry trade body, The News Media Association (NMA), has requested a licence fee agreement to ensure news media publishers are paid for their content used on tech giants’ platforms.

Newspapers and tablet computer

The NMA has joined Ofcom and UK broadcaster in calling for independent regulatory oversight of tech platforms such as Facebook and Google. It said “a fair and equitable” content licence fee agreement would help safeguard the future of independent journalism “which underpins our democracy”.

In its submission to the Cairncross review into the future of sustainable journalism, the NMA stated: “The primary focus of concern today is the loss of advertising revenues which have previously sustained quality national and local journalism and are now flowing to the global search engines and social media companies who make no meaningful contribution to the cost of producing the original content from which the so richly benefit.”

Google and Facebook produce no original content but now take almost 100% of the growth in digital ad expenditure in the UK.

NLA Media Access, the rights licensing and database business owned by news media publishers, outlined how a payment scheme could work, based on the well-established system for licensing news media content to media monitoring organisations.

Dame Frances Cairncross is chairing the review looking at how to sustain the production and distribution of high-quality journalism in a changing market.