What's In Worse Shape, The Government or the Newspapers?
You can tell when a government is really in trouble – it starts sucking up to newspapers.
And so to The Mail on Sunday which reports that “Now tech giants may be forced to pay newspapers for their stories”.
Culture secretary Nadine Dorries (that makes me laugh every time) is driving the move from the Digital Markets Unit which comes “amid growing concerns that the tech companies are dominating online advertising to the detriment of consumers and businesses”.
Google and Facebook took four-fifths of the £14 billion spent on digital ads in the UK in 2019. The MoS adds: “Ms Dorries has told her officials that the DMU should be given “robust powers” to “drive fair terms between publishers and platforms” by introducing a binding arbitration, and be “explicitly granted new powers to act swiftly and effectively where the regulator finds that a platform has not offered fair and reasonable remuneration for its use of publisher content”.
A few things here. One, trying to read that story on the Mail website is a miserable experience because of all the ads.
Two, since the Mail and most of the rest are giving this content away in the first place, Google might think the newspapers are whining solely because they played a game they could never win.
The key question here is how much the tech giants might agree to pay – no figures are given.
Deals between papers and tech companies are not new. Facebook signed up to a deal with news outlets more than a year ago, from time to time there have been others.
From experience, what happens is that newspaper executives stomp around moaning that Google and co are thieves.
Then they sell out for mere pennies when it comes to it, perhaps because loads of their mates work at Google and they quite fancy a job there themselves.
Back to the sucking up. The terrible truth is that newspapers themselves might be in so much trouble that the days when they can save or defeat governments are in the past.
The PR trade is going to find itself dealing with a far more diverse, less well read, far more niche, and in many ways less informed set of publications in the future.
I have said this before: but you will miss us when we are gone
Good fodder here for the pro-Brexit crowd from challenger bank 3S Money.
It has seen a surge in non-UK businesses looking for accounts here and says 2021 was the best year ever for our tech sector.
CEO Ivan Zhiznevskiy says: “Brexit was one of the most uncertain economic milestones in British history. And ‘uncertain’ is a word no investor wants to hear. Yet, despite fears we’d lost foreign investment because of this, the UK still presents an extremely attractive business opportunity, especially for high-tech start-ups.”