Publishers view Facebook negatively as concerns about big tech companies grow, report shows - Press Gazette

Publishers view Facebook negatively as concerns about big tech companies grow, report shows

Publishers are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact tech companies, such as Facebook and Google, are having on the news industry, according to new research.

A Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism report has revealed that 44 per cent of publishers are more worried about tech companies compared to the year before. Only seven per cent of publishers are less concerned.

Rankings for six major tech companies in the institute’s annual predictions report revealed that Facebook, Snapchat and Apple had “net negative” ratings with publishers.

But Google was found to have a positive rating with publishers alongside Twitter and online retail giant Amazon.

Press Gazette is running a campaign against Google and Facebook, known collectively as the Duopoly, calling on them to stop destroying journalism and pay more back to news publishers on whose content they rely.

The Duopoly is expected to take 71 per cent of all the money spent in the UK on digital advertising by 2020, according to industry analysis.

Despite their negative views of tech giants, more publishers identified their own “resistance to change” and “inability to innovate” as the biggest problem facing them in 2018, the Reuters report said.

One US publisher said: “For all the talk about change, little change is actually taking place – primarily because of long-known issues that threaten most established companies … ego and a lack of willingness to truly adapt.”

The report surveyed 200 chief executive’s, editors and “digital leaders” from 29 countries.

Some 72 per cent of respondents told the Reuters Institute that they were considering using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in their newsroom. A further 58 per cent said they were looking at new opportunities presented by podcasts.

The report also revealed that publishers were less keen on digital advertising, with 62 per cent of those surveyed saying adverts would be less important in 2018 while 40 per cent said that online subscription fees would be very important.

Author of the report Nic Newman said: “Many publishers will launch paid offerings this year, but it could be tough haul with consumer interest in paying for news still low in most countries.

“The underlying message, though, is that publishers now see the need to diversify revenue streams – and fast.”

The Reuters Institute also expressed concerns about the “informative divide” expanding should more publishers put quality content behind paywalls, saying people on lower incomes would be left with low-quality journalism and misinformation.

Read the full report.



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