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Digital Platforms

“INMA Knows” is a content surfacing project designed to personally curate all association resources on a single subject of high interest to INMA members


INMA launched its Digital Platforms Initiative on the first day of 2019. Few things are more intertwined with the revenue success of the news media industry — from readers and advertisers — than its relationship with Big Tech. INMA's epic report "How to Decode the Publisher-Platform Relationship" lays the groundwork for the initiative while case studies and a continuing Digital Platforms blog continue the ever-evolving conversation. In 2020, the focus was on Australia. In 2021, what happens there will spread throughout the world. 

Dawn McMullan

— Dawn McMullan, INMA

Exclusive INMA material on “Digital Platforms”

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INMA creates publisher playbook for Big Tech platform relationships

The 93-page report is the result of a six-month long dive into the relationship, including a study of global media executives on six continents and interviews with 45 media leaders, regulators, and current and former digital platform executives. From that, INMA shares a playbook for how the news media industry moves forward among the Big Tech players.

26 September 2019

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New Australian code of conduct locks in payments from Big Tech for content

Friday’s announcement from Australia’s competition regulator and government means everything about how Google and Facebook use news media content is about to change — and not just in Australia. INMA digital platforms expert Robert Whitehead shares what’s in the code of conduct, what’s not, what it means, and what happens next.

02 August 2020

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What does Google’s pushback on a new French copyright law mean for publishers?

The decision last week by Google that it would not pay European publishers for their preview content in France in Google Search and Google News is the Big Tech company’s first challenge to new EU laws. What does it mean and what happens now?

02 October 2019

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Key INMA publishers respond to Australia’s digital platform move

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission published its “first pass” at a mandatory code of conduct on July 31. Three publishers from the United States, Australia, and Norway share their thoughts on what the announcement means at this point.

05 August 2020

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10 takeaways from INMA’s global digital platforms-publisher analysis

Digital platforms are making changes — but they aren’t the changes news media companies want. This topic is approaching a tipping point within the industry, yet most news media executives are woefully underinformed about the issues even in their own regions. Here is a crash course in what you should know.

14 October 2019

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Australian government sides with publishers over digital platforms

The Australian government’s decision to come down hard on the digital platforms contains key positive news for media companies and provides precedents for regulators and governments around the world.

16 December 2019

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Facebook detox: Two weeks that changed a media company's strategy

INMA Presentation File

16 January 2019

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What does Google’s US$1 billion News Showcase initiative mean for publishers?

Seemingly in response to the international impetus to legislate Big Tech, Google announced a US$1 billion news-content licensing payout to about 200 news publishers in five countries to populate a new Google News module first mentioned in June. The initiative booted Australia out of its plan 10 days after its announcement. Here’s what INMA is hearing from industry experts on what this all means.

14 October 2020

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Google, Australian government exchange harsh public warnings on Big Tech regulations

The battle of words and governance continued in Australia on Monday as Google posted a public warning that pending new regulations on how Big Tech platforms partner with news media companies — specifically on data and paying for content — would harm readers. Australia’s regulatory agency responded quickly, accusing Google of spreading misinformation.

17 August 2020

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INMA report looks at advertising and data ramifications of third-party cookie phaseout

In 18 months, advertising data as we know it will radically change. In this 65-page report, INMA looks at the third-party data that has built an entire advertising revenue model and how disassembling it is one of the most challenging and promising transitions the industry has traversed.

30 June 2020

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Inquiry recommends wide-scale reforms to how platforms engage with publishers

The Australia Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) released its final report last week on its inquiry into what digital platforms mean to news brands. Here are seven key global takeaways.

28 July 2019

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Danish media start-up stops Facebook ads, increases membership

Zetland cut off Facebook and Instagram advertising for the month of July, deciding to invest that money into hiring more journalists. In Canada, media publishers discuss a link tax.

14 July 2020

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Australia’s highest court rules media companies are responsible for third-party comments on social media

Without the protection of free speech, news media companies in Australia are now held responsible for reader comments on their social media posts regardless whether they have seen or deleted them.

16 September 2021

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Apple loses its grip on App Store payments, but media will still flock to it

In the past 15 days, the Apple tax has unraveled in a series of initiatives and regulatory moves that creates a new pricing benchmark and more flexible payment paths for news publishers.

13 September 2021

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What media companies need to know about Apple’s News Partner Programme

The new programme, available in four countries, allows publishers on Apple News to directly sell subscriptions to people reading their articles within the news aggregation app.

13 September 2021

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Dutch media companies outline collaborative guidelines to guide Big Tech discussion

Dutch media and Big Tech companies await word from the national government on next steps following a formal request from the five largest media companies in the Netherlands. In an unusual move, the companies call out several Big Tech companies, whereas in other countries, only Google and Facebook are specifically named.

19 August 2021

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Google executives demystify the end of third-party cookies for INMA members

Two executives from Google presented a Webinar for INMA members to explain the Privacy Sandbox Initiative and share its timeline for the phase-out of third-party cookies.

18 August 2021

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Google fined €500 million by France for series of infractions in negotiations with media

French authorities say Google failed to negotiate with French media publishers. INMA spoke with Frederic Filloux, founder and editor of The Monday Note, who has a softer view of Google’s obligations and flexibility than most.

05 August 2021

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Denmark passes legislation paving way for bargaining between media and Big Tech

The Danish legislation, based on the EU copyright directive — which has been criticised for being complex and lacking the teeth to force a fair negotiation — comes as Google is fined €500 million for failing to negotiate with French news publishers.

13 July 2021

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Gannett fights systemic racism while creating a culture of belonging

To demonstrate its commitment to becoming a greater ally in the fight against systemic racism, racial injustice, and discrimination, Gannett launched a dedicated Take Action Web site, detailing the actions it is taking as a company.

05 July 2021

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Possible government transitions may delay Canadian digital platform legislation

News media companies throughout Canada have published an open letter to the Trudeau administration, asking it to keep its word “to introduce legislation to break the Google/Facebook stranglehold on news before the summer recess.”

27 June 2021

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Mediahuis newsroom uses data to guide transition to digital workflow

In December 2019, Mediahuis Netherlands decided to change news production practices. Based on insights gained from analysing Web data, it transitioned from a print workflow to a digital one.

01 June 2021

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Can there be peace between Big Tech and news media?

Robert Whitehead, lead of INMA's Digital Platform Initiative, interviews Rod Sims, chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and Damien Geradin, a Belgian ad tech specialist, about the Australian showdown with Google and Facebook, what it means for the rest of the world, and what the future relationship between Big Tech and news media looks like.

27 May 2021

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Live blogging enhancements increase engagement for Sydney Morning Herald, Age

The Sydney Morning Herald/The Age’s live blogging platform allows newsrooms to set the agenda and deliver timely updates to audiences. Recent improvements now ensure readers can find the most relevant information as quickly as possible.

24 May 2021

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McKinsey partner shares advice on data privacy and media advertising

As the industry looks to a future without third-party cookies, Kabir Ahuja, partner/Media & Entertainment and High Tech Practices at McKinsey & Company UK, shared research and his thoughts on the future of news media advertising with INMA members during the INMA World Congress of News Media.

13 May 2021

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UK publishers join international move toward power balance in digital platform relations

As the UK appoints a new regulator to mediate Big Tech and news media fiscal relationships, INMA corporate members Guardian News & Media and Bauer UK weigh in on the process and possibilities.

02 May 2021

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Economist drives digital engagement in 2020 through social media

The Economist leveraged its social media channels to drive engagement during 2020, specifically around the coronavirus and U.S. elections. During the latter, its Web site enjoyed record traffic.

19 April 2021

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The billion-dollar gap: Facebook, global news industry earn almost the same amount

In 2020, Facebook’s total revenue was US$86 billion, most of which came from advertising. The company made a net profit of US$29 billion. In the same year, revenue for the global newspaper industry was US$93 billion.

05 April 2021

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Ringier’s EqualVoice measures visibility of women in media

Ringier's EqualVoice initiative has helped the media company increase content about women and spurred a social initiative to help other companies gauge how well they are representing women.

04 April 2021

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Funke Mediengruppe almost triples digital subscribers in 1 year

Reducing the volume of advertising and increasing customer lifetime value (CLTV) were key to Funke Mediengruppe’s successful digital strategy, creating a business model to pay for local journalism.

28 March 2021

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Reach PLC shares 3 pillars of digital transformation

Piers North of Reach PLC shared his company's digital transformation journey, including the three pillars of its success: customer value strategy, campaigns, and culture.

24 March 2021

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What Facebook’s big deals in Australia tell us

News media companies can now start comparing Australian Facebook and Google agreements, foreshadowing possibilities internationally. INMA’s Robert Whitehead gives context to what happened in Australia yesterday.

16 March 2021

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Facebook reverses shutdown in Australia as national legislation is tweaked

After a five-day Facebook blackout in Australia, minor changes in legislation produce a breakthrough that yields the social giant’s first Australian publisher deal, with more expected.

23 February 2021

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16 key points you need to know about the Australian Media Bargaining Code

As the Australian parliament gets close to a final vote on the country’s media bargaining code, here is a cheat sheet of what you and your news media company need to know — even if you don’t live in Australia.

21 February 2021

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Here’s what Google’s big Australian media payment deals mean

As passage of the Australian Media Bargaining Code was imminent, deals between Google and three Australian media companies — most notably News Corp — were announced just as Facebook completely pulled out of the country.

17 February 2021

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Australia’s media code enters last round as a new war of words escalates among Big Tech

On Friday, Australia’s parliamentary committee announced support of the country’s media bargaining code, unanimously recommending the bill be passed this week. The bill, which is sure to pass now, will require Google and Facebook pay for content from media companies. In response, Google and Facebook are threatening to withdraw key products from the country and Microsoft called for similar laws to go international.

14 February 2021

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Google threatens to remove search from Australia as remuneration law seems imminent

News media companies around the world are closely watching Google’s actions in Australia. The country’s parliament is expected to pass a law within the next week that will mandate digital platforms pay news publishers for content.

10 February 2021

Read More launches Ark 2.0 to build awareness about climate change’s Ark 2.0 project sent the DNA of endangered species into space while also launching a bigger conversation about climate change.

09 February 2021

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Australia takes aim at Google’s dominance in ad technology

INMA boils down a 222-page report just released by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Here are the key recommendations, the breakdown, and what Google and media companies have to say about it.

28 January 2021

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No easy answer exists in removing Trump (and others) from social media networks

Is it right or wrong to ban former U.S. President Donald Trump from social media? The only sure thing is that those who think the answer is easy are wrong and that new rules need to urgently be put in place.

25 January 2021

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In “experiment,” Google removes some Australian news from local search results

Google said the experiments will reach about 1% of Google Search users in Australia and is threatening to shut down search throughout the country if the new digital code forcing the negotiation of payments to news media companies goes ahead.

24 January 2021

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Jagran introduces Jagran Local, a city-specific news model

The Jagran Local platform offers credible and factual content that focuses on 360-degree coverage of local news and information.

19 January 2021

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Tamedia increased digital subscribers 42% in 2020

Several of Tamedia’s daily newspapers saw a dramatic increase in their digital subscriptions in the past year, more than compensating for any downturn in print subscriptions.

18 January 2021

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WhatsApp offers a potential subscription journey for media companies

WhatsApp is now a viable platform for selling subscriptions, but what would that process look like?

17 January 2021

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Regional German publishers share costs of data science to drive reader revenue

The partnership of eight German regional news publishers allows them to enjoy the benefits of scale to lower costs through sharing data tasks, improve insights with larger pools of data, and quicken learning through coordinated experiments.

12 January 2021

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VOL.AT becomes first climate-neutral online news platform

After achieving carbon-neutral status for its employees in 2019, VOL.AT became the first online news platform to reach CO2-neutral status for its advertisers and content in 2020.

04 January 2021

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Tampa Bay Times moves to print publishing twice a week

As part of its response to COVID-19, the Tampa Bay Times deployed a plan to reduce its number of print days, beef up its digital subscriber base, and keep its advertiser base.

21 December 2020

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Power shifts coming in 2021 for news media publishers and digital platforms in UK

A new Digital Markets Unit in the UK will oversee a pro-competition regime for platforms, while a new code of conduct will give consumers more control over how their data is used and news publishers a shot at a “fair deal” from digital platforms.

16 December 2020

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MediaNews Group launches premium-tier, ad-free digital subscriptions

MediaNews Group is the first local publisher to debut an ad-free subscription model. It tested price points, tightened its paywalls, and focused on its e-mail newsletter lists as part of the strategy.

09 December 2020

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Australia seeks anti-trust settlement path, not copyright, to force platforms to pay

Australia’s move trumps any other regional mandates, becoming the global gold standard by which Facebook, Google — and likely other Big Tech platforms — will have to abide.

08 December 2020

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Advance Local reinvents town hall meetings during pandemic via Facebook Live

When the COVID-19 pandemic prevented face-to-face town hall meetings, created live social media events in a series called Reopening Alabama.

07 December 2020

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Zetland’s ambassador programme drives paying membership increase

Zetland sent out 20,000 ambassador cards to paying members across Denmark as part of its "members get members" campaign. The initiative attracted three times as many new members as the company estimated.

06 December 2020

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Google agrees to pay 6 French publishers for content under neighbouring rights law

Although details are difficult to come by, this is the first time Google has agreed to pay news publishers for content. Here’s what INMA knows so far about the deal with Le Monde, Courrier International, L'Obs, Le Figaro, Liberation, and L'Express.

23 November 2020

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Google, French publishers are back at negotiation table on content remunerations

A French court sent Google back into negotiations with French publishers earlier this month after talks broke down in August. The remuneration for content is worth millions. How many millions is part of the negoation.

28 October 2020

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Publishers weigh approaches to balancing power with Big Tech

In the United States, Section 230 gets a look as a vehicle for reining in tech giants, while new voices join the discussion on how to move forward with the ACCC’s News Media Bargaining Code.

17 September 2020

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Google and Apple face increased international scrutiny

It’s been a busy week in the digital platforms space: The ACCC turns its attention to mobile, antitrust regulators in five countries join to battle Google while the U.S. Justice Department readies to file an antitrust suit against the platform, and the Trump Administration inserts itself into the ACCC’s work to force Google and Facebook to pay for news.

09 September 2020

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Facebook and Apple face off over privacy, ad tech issues

Facebook joins news publishers in decrying the 30% Apple Tax and plans to pull its Facebook Audience Network app from the App Store. Also, publishers react to a new Facebook pilot programme that links Facebook user accounts to their news subscriptions.

02 September 2020

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Publishers push back on Facebook threat to Australia regulation

In response to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Facebook issues a five-point argument that publishers worry could become a global regulatory playbook. Publishers make their counter-argument.

01 September 2020

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News publishers are not happy with Apple Tax application, news link redirection

With Apple News+ customers being routed to the Apple app instead of publisher sites and unequal requirements to pay a 30% fee to sell subscriptions via the Apple app, news media publishers are crying foul.

26 August 2020

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U.S. antitrust hearings on Big Tech platforms explore market dominance, effect on media

Late last month, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s sub-committee on antitrust, commercial, and administrative law concluded its sixth hearing on Big Tech market dominance, “Examining the Dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google.” Here’s who said what at the latest hearing and highlights from the five previous hearings.

11 August 2020

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App Store fees are being dissected while Apple News makes important changes

Apple defends its decision on who and what to charge while expanding Apple News to include audio and updating its iOS to change its approach with IDFA (Identifying for Advertisers). Also, NYT CEO Mark Thompson weighs in on regulating Big Tech, and Google responds to code of conduct with Australian publishers.

28 July 2020

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Deadlines loom with France, Australia, and EU entities on media-platform regulations

The next two months are filled with deadlines worldwide as news media publishers and digital platforms negotiate their path and relationship forward. What’s on the table includes remuneration, a code of conduct, and an enforceable data agreement. This time will be very telling for the industry. Also, journalist organisations weigh in on Google licensing deal.

21 July 2020

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Stricter enforcement of App Store guidelines leads to media subscription woes

Apple has stepped up enforcement of its in-app purchase rules, which require apps to sell subscriptions via Apple’s in-app purchase system, with a price tag of 30%. Also this week in digital platform news, Google fights to store first-party data and Facebook warning on older articles could lessen traffic to them.

07 July 2020

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Google, North American media companies battle over content use

While Google fires back against the News Media Alliance’s allegations to the U.S. Justice Department about Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), The New York Times pulls out of Apple News and Facebook changes its News Feed to favour original reporting.

30 June 2020

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Collaboration, connection form foundation of platform success at Jagran New Media

The online world is mostly about being connected, making collaboration with platforms such as Google and Facebook key to success at Jagran New Media.

24 June 2020

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French remuneration agreement with Google is imminent

In April, the French Autorité de la Concurrence said Google must negotiate with publishers what their protected content is worth within three month’s time. That deadline of July 9 is right around the corner.

23 June 2020

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Facebook, Google face off with Australian publishers after remuneration mandate

Government authorities in Australia and France have ordered Big Tech companies to pay for content that appears on their platforms. This week, Facebook officially responded to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Here is a look at that response, the history, and next steps.

17 June 2020

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Canadian publishers launch ad platform while Australian media battles renumeration with Big Tech

In the past week, Canadian media companies launched The Maple Network Exchange advertising platform, an Australian court said news media companies are liable for social media comments, and U.S. President Donald Trump went to battle with Twitter’s new fact-checking policies.

16 June 2020

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Apple News+ meets early publisher expectations even as bigger questions remain

Reach extension, connections to young readers and women in Apple ecosystem are among the value propositions to The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.

04 December 2019

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Facebook responds to publisher questions surrounding News tab

Facebook recently announced its News tab feature, designed to highlight trustworthy news and give audiences more control over the news they see. What does this mean for news media publishers?

18 November 2019

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Google’s original news content guidelines are a step forward, yet issues remain

News media executives worldwide welcome the move to prioritise original content yet want more emphasis on local news surfacing, ranking of subscription stories, and the removal of copycat copy.

19 September 2019

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News Corp answers Big Tech by exploring its own news distribution site

While not a done deal, the idea of answers many of the concerns News Corp has about entities like Google and Facebook, including not intervening between a publisher and its audience.

11 September 2019

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The promise and peril of Facebook’s publisher payment plan

Facebook gets mixed and skeptical reviews for its proposal to news media companies like Bloomberg, The Washington Post, ABC News, and Dow Jones to feature their content on a special news tab for three years for US$3 million. Here are the pros and cons as industry experts see the move.

27 August 2019

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Some news publishers reviewing paywalls in response to Google’s Chrome 76

A new desktop browser can unlock metered paywalls by making incognito browsing undetectable, which is good for privacy, bad for publishers using a metered model. Google encourages registrations and a change in paywall model. Read what INMA news executives surveyed think about the change.

06 August 2019

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