The news business is coming to an end.
A newspaper publisher is preparing to take the unusual step of begging the state legislature to negotiate collective bargaining with Facebook and Google.
(in general, antitrust laws prohibit such collective bargaining because it reduces economic competition, except in cases of special legislation such as unions.)
Cooperation and it is easy to understand why publishers want bargaining: Facebook and Google continue to obtain the content they want from the news media, via the news Feed and search results to stir recently, at the same time to absorb all advertising profits are available. This is a game where dealers keep the entire pie, and only so many news organizations can survive on the Internet platform.
So, how do we get here?
We can basically boil it down to three movements.
Start from scratch: ask most newspaper people, they’ll tell you, “original sin” is the news gatherer’s decision to give away their products online for free. This is an absurd framework (for the reasons I will consider), but this is the common understanding of the majority of the press.
Stories should circulate on the Internet without the burden of payment systems. The key foundation of the entire network is the link, and anyone must be able to view the link and make it the most valuable. This is just an axiom of the early web.
That’s why (most) newspapers do. Bedding. But everything changed: they were in a completely different industry and didn’t realize it.
2. GuGe takes advantage of all the high quality web pages and places the links between them freely on the world wide web. They turned all these links into search engine data.
Google is the best place to learn about the world. Without newspapers, television or radio, people could see what was happening.
With Google gaining users, newspapers are getting more coverage and readers than before. Of course, most of them are visitors from outside the tube that advertisers want to reach, but the industry will be full of itself, and everyone hopes.
Google, meanwhile, is figuring out its business model, and the result is a sponsored link next to the search results. They create a simple way to buy ads and back ends, and tell you exactly how the AD is doing. (others are doing similar things, but only one of them has become one of the most valuable companies in the world.)
It turns out that many small local advertisers prefer GuGe to advertise in the form of newspapers. Combined with Craigslist’s main classified-advertising business, newspaper print ads are in trouble.
None of this will happen or there is no such thing as a “original sin” paper: their local/regional business practices are stamped by the efficiency of the technology business.
In the new advertising world, readers are not worth it. Maybe a few cents a visit. But there is always a hope: more scale. More visitors means more pageviews, which means more ads, which means that news organizations may pay enough money to journalists from online ads.
As a result, people search for scale, traffic, visitors, pageviews and advertising resources.
Who has the scale? Facebook.
For a long time, Facebook was happy to send news articles to its readers, but it was attached to their larger concerns. Then, about August 2013, Facebook began to alarm news organizations. “From August to October, Facebook recommended a 69 percent increase in traffic to partner sites,” Charlie Warzel told Buzzfeed at the time. But he just explained how many people in digital media know from their own traffic reports. The traffic is through the roof, all from Facebook.
“Facebook has sent unprecedented traffic to the Internet’s publishers in recent months, a dramatic, unexpected growth that has affected a large number of sites that serve a variety of content.” Warzel wrote.
Facebook has achieved this monster change in two ways in the world of information flow. For one thing, it seems to be starting to gain privileges from the best, such as a quarter of publishers’ news content. Stories from these publishers are more likely to appear in news stories related to other publishers (or people).
More importantly, in the long run, Facebook is also beginning to provide substantial internal advertising for different media brands. For months, they suggested that users should focus on media brand pages. This is basically a physical gift from various publishers on Facebook. It gives them bigger pages to publicize their stories.
The tactics worked. Facebook has started to create a huge scale for publishers. Many websites now have “audiences”, with 15-20-25-300, 000 independent visitors, even the largest print publications. (the average circulation of USA today dropped sharply to around 3 million.)
But it also freed publishers from the shackles of Facebook’s news feed algorithms and corporate practices.
In the face of a surge in Facebook traffic, David Carr wrote a column about Facebook’s new rule. The traffic they sent was shocking, and it was great that they tried to expand the content and improve the quality, “a publishing business manager told him. “But all of us are talking about the other shoe that might fall.”
The other shoe, at the time we speculated that Facebook would turn off the tap for some reason. When they began to emphasize video, they did part of the work, which is one reason why many media companies “turned to video”. They’re just running on Facebook’s finger.
To make matters worse, the scale of Facebook’s rapid rise has also created a kind of inflation. The currency of digital advertising is traffic, and suddenly there is more. So what do you think? All of this is putting downward pressure on advertisers’ willingness to pay publishers. This means that you need Facebook to maintain your business.
Facebook controls 2 billion people and media attention, and does a lot of strange things to “news”. Just a few examples: now everything is becoming sharper – meaning fewer and fewer stories will bring more and more traffic. More publications gathered in less topic and news events, because most of the available flow around a single Facebook news projects, whether John Oliver (John Oliver) rant or trump’s colleagues to meet with someone or a doctor, is dragged off the plane or bus.
These are some of the more complex effects I’ve been calling Facebookworld. So I can see why newspapers want to sit down with Facebook and tell them their problems. Technology has wrapped around an old tree in the news, like a vine.
We’ve just seen the consequences of the strange information ecosystem created by Facebook and GuGe. In the months leading up to the election, pranks, lies and deception have been heavily reported (or above) with serious journalists. Since the election, a revitalized press has taken steps, including many of the trump administration’s problems and scandals.
In other words, last year, we had seen the value of well-trained news teams supported by news organizations, and they knew what they were doing.
At the same time, newspapers and other news organizations continue to work to create digital businesses to support enough journalists to work.
News has never been needed, nor is it more endangered.
Newspapers may not get the help congress needs. Even if they do, they are vulnerable to two of the world’s most powerful gatekeepers.
The good news is that Facebook and Google, both internal and corporate structures, may eventually help journalism. The bad news is that at this point, the two companies may not be able to solve their problems.