The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook will offer corporate news outlets "millions of dollars for the rights to put their content in a news section that the company hopes to launch later this year," citing unnamed sources familiar with the lawbreaking social media company and information warfare platform.
Facebook reps are said to be offering news executives "as much as $3 million a year to license entire stories, headlines and previews of articles from news outlets," reports WSJ.
The executives pitched by Facebook include… people at Dow Jones, which publishes the Wall Street Journal. Also targeted by Facebook's reps: ABC News (owned by Disney), The Washington Post and Bloomberg.
Facebook's plans come as the company is facing growing criticism for its role in the news industry's struggles by sucking up much of the advertising revenue that used to go to newspapers. Combined, Facebook and Alphabet Inc. 's Google earned 60% of all digital advertising revenue in the U.S. last year, according to eMarketer.
The news-licensing deals between Facebook and news outlets would run for three years, some of the people said. Facebook is planning to launch the section sometime in the fall, the people said. It is unclear whether any news outlets have formally agreed yet to license their content to Facebook.
Facebook has proposed giving news outlets discretion over how their content will appear in the news tab, according to people familiar with the matter. News outlets would be allowed to choose between hosting their stories directly on Facebook or including headlines and previews in the tab that would send readers to their own websites, the people said—in which case the news tab would be a generator of web traffic for news outlets in addition to a source of licensing revenue.
Some responses from people in the news industry, below.
Here's another idea: why don't we all tell Facebook to go fuck itself instead https://t.co/lTUEGdPv16
— Patrick George (@bypatrickgeorge) August 8, 2019
Struggling to see the benefit of this for strong subscription businesses like NYT/WSJ etc.
Hard to see them getting excited about a $3m licensing deal from smaller web companies unless it helped them drive subscriptions https://t.co/XdrGcP0hBX
— Ryan McCarthy (@mccarthyryanj) August 8, 2019
One big upside: They're proposing allowing news orgs to link out from the tab in addition to paying them up front.https://t.co/W6h5kL2KD3
— Ben Mullin (@BenMullin) August 8, 2019
— Laura Kayali (@LauKaya) August 8, 2019
call me when facebook agrees to hand over half of its ad revenue https://t.co/4C0K64glbu
— Jack Mirkinson (@jackmirkinson) August 8, 2019
Jonah Peretti predicted this like five years ago https://t.co/BTNvFgArCJ
— Matthew Zeitlin (@MattZeitlin) August 8, 2019
I guarantee you — GUARANTEE YOU — these are not local news outlets. Facebook is decimating local news. It should be offering these millions to them. https://t.co/IN4AUlw9br
— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) August 8, 2019
First Facebook destroys journalism outlets, and now it wants content from whoever is left. https://t.co/Vjk57KkRqK
— Pat Garofalo (@Pat_Garofalo) August 8, 2019