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.