Could Facebook Send Big Checks To TV News Networks In The Future?

Paying for content: That seems like a simple idea. Talk to Netflix, Disney, ViacomCBS, Amazon Prime Video.

But Facebook? Not so much.

TV content producers -- that spend billions on content -- must be thinking: Why doesn’t Facebook need to spend big for the content it publishes and/or distributes? It sells billions in advertising off that content.

Maybe that time is coming.

Australia is working on a proposed law forcing social media companies to effectively pay for content linked to TV networks and other news media organizations consumed or shared by its users.

Could this idea really expand in the U.S. and globally to other TV networks and platforms? 

We know social media content issues, financially speaking, can be fuzzy. Users freely post content, as well as news media links on social media. Facebook continues to side with the key federal rules description when it characterizes itself as a platform, not a publisher.

Still, value is exchanged. Social-media consumers get something in return, although not monetary in nature. They get awareness, likeability, controversy, etc. for content they produce and/or share.



This includes publishers, according to Facebook, that choose to share their stories on the site.

According to a blog post by Campbell Brown, Facebook's vice president of global news partnerships: “We pay hundreds of publishers for access to more of their content for Facebook News."

Facebook doesn’t think it should pay for all that content -- especially when it comes to the average consumer's sharing of news content. And to give a picture of what consumers, advertisers and publications might expect, it preemptively offered a look at the future:

It blocked all news content for any Australian social media users, which also included Facebook’s landing page. Overall, Facebook says this should be construed in a bigger context -- that news stories make up less than 4% of what people see on the site.

Maybe the social network is seeing what’s coming -- big-time deregulation. So it is begging to solve this once and for all. No business likes uncertainty. In part, this also might settle the issue of misinformation and curating content.

This could mean Facebook would be on an equal footing with any TV news network, program or platform? Producing, distributing news -- confirming and curating content -- takes money. (And how much, in fact, does Facebook pay in actual dollars to publishers for news content?)

Rupert Murdoch looks at it the same way as Australian legislators. The native Australian believes social media companies should pay Murdoch news-producing companies when its users share their stories. Murdoch already struck a deal with Google to pay for news content for Murdoch’s News Corp.

We can imagine this trend will slowly grow. If it continues, it would be a boon to all TV news networks.

TV news networks -- as well as print-based, now increasing online publications -- could see a revenue boost. That would be a big news story to read on social media.

6 comments about "Could Facebook Send Big Checks To TV News Networks In The Future?".
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  1. John Grono from GAP Research, February 22, 2021 at 3:10 p.m.

    When I go to the newsagent and buy a newspaper I am paying for content.   I can't see why FB shouldn't as well.

  2. Kendra McDonald from Nielsen TAM, February 23, 2021 at 2:14 a.m.

    News Flash
    Facebook to reverse ban on Australian news sites – federal government

  3. John Grono from GAP Research replied, February 23, 2021 at 2:23 a.m.

    Hi Kendra - you beat me to it.

  4. Victor AchoO from Vachoon1Digital Entertainment Ltd, February 24, 2021 at 6:54 a.m.

    What if you buy a newspaper, see an interesting news item in it and choose to stick the paper on my garage door or on the side of the garden wall, purely because there is a lot people traffic passing through my house, why must I be compelled to pay you for the privilege?

    Even if the people traffic passing through my house are actual clients who come to buy something from my house or my shop, why should I be compelled to pay you, because people visiting my house may see or read the newspaper which you pasted on my garage door out of your own free will?

    This is no more than a desperate attempt to shakedown hugely successful social media organisations by the arrogant traditional media whose business model has just imploded. Facebook doesn't need the news to prosper. 

  5. John Grono from GAP Research replied, February 24, 2021 at 7:07 a.m.

    Victor, first I wouldn't do that to your garage door - it would be trespass.

    Second, if I did do that, it would be me that was liable.

    No desperation here mate, just simple logic and fair play.

  6. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, February 24, 2021 at 7:46 a.m.

    Victor, are you aware that FB sells ads? If you charged everyone who noticed your garage door presentation a fee, then you should share some of that with the source of the information.

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