As seasons shift, it’s a dynamic time for the industry

It’s a dynamic time for the industry, and never perhaps has that been more apparent than in this week’s range of stories. We’ve got an exclusive interview with The Content Exchange, a new platform that seeks to marry licensees with content creators at scale. Meanwhile, Echobox reminds us that social media traffic still pays. Throw in some Substack, further fury from Google, and a new report from FIPP and UPM into Media’s Future in a Post-Covid World, and the first Kick-off of September shows us the winds of seasonal change… 

The Content Exchange on bringing creators and buyers together at scale: Founded in 2020, The Content Exchange (TCE) is a digital marketplace where publishers and creators can offer or license quality content directly from one another. Translating everything automatically into English, the platform facilitates licensing deals at scale, and provides a place where content can find greater reach.

“We now have a new European directive,” says Joris van Lierop, co-Founder and Managing Director of The Content Exchange. “This arranges the reuse of content on ‘content sharing platforms’ as they call it, i.e. Facebook, who they want to have pay for reusing the content, which is a big issue right now. And I think these big global players aren’t the only ones reusing content and it’s good that there are some much stronger directives coming through to protect intellectual rights, but also the talent and effort put into creating that kind of content.” Full article here.

Echobox: Remember that Facebook is still driving significant traffic to publisher sites: Of course, the counter argument to clamping down on social media, is that such platforms still generate significant traffic to publisher sites. In another exclusive interview published last week, Ashley Kibler, Senior Content Manager for Echobox, reminded us that in 2020, over 13% of all traffic to news publishers’ sites came from Facebook, and it wasn’t time to start boycotting these channels just yet.

Google appealing French competition authority fine: As the ‘Friend or Foe’ debate surrounding Facebook continues to rage within the industry, so too does the one around Google. In July, the company was hit with a US $592m penalty for its approach to paying publishers for their content. It last week hit back at the fine, as Sebastien Missoffe, a Google France VP and country manager, wrote in a statement:

“We are appealing the French Competition Authority’s decision which relates to our negotiations between April and August 2020. We disagree with a number of legal elements, and believe that the fine is disproportionate to our efforts to reach an agreement and comply with the new law. Irrespective of this, we recognize neighbouring rights and we continue to work hard to resolve this case and put deals in place. This includes expanding offers to 1,200 publishers, clarifying aspects of our contracts, and we are sharing more data as requested by the French Competition Authority in their July Decision.” TechCrunch has the full story here.

Salman Rushdie to publish next book on Substack: And if that wasn’t enough media disruption for one week, Author Salman Rushdie has announced that he is to publish his next book via Substack. “I got very attracted to the idea recently, in this strange year and a half, of trying out things I’ve never done before,” he told The Guardian. “I’m going to kind of make it up as I go along, but I have some starting points. Aside from the novella, it will feature short stories, literary gossip (“as long as it’s not defamatory”) and writing about books – and film.”

Confessions of an early-career journalist leaving the industry: And while we’re exploring media change – the good, the bad, and the ugly – Digiday runs a great ‘Confessions series’ in which it speaks to people anonymously about their experiences in the industry. Last week saw the publication of an enlightening, if not slightly harrowing, interview with a former journalist, who has this to say:

“I’m sure the pandemic has a big role. It made you reassess what you’re spending your time and energy on. If it didn’t feel good to you, why keep doing it? It made it easier for those kinds of decisions. Especially for younger journalists. It’s not the mid-career people leaving the industry; it’s people in their first five to seven years. That’s a problem for the talent pipeline for the next generation of journalism. Maybe they’ll want to come back, but they are leaving because they are recognizing those same issues.”

You can reads this article in full on the FIPP website here.