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Where did Facebook’s funding for journalism really go? — The Media Roundup

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Where did Facebook’s funding for journalism really go?

Yesterday in this newsletter Peter provided an update on our lead story in the podcast this week – that Google is trialling a news blackout in Canada rather than agree to a direct payments to publishers scheme. You can hear our thoughts on those sorts of deals in the episode (tl;dl they’re based on wilful misunderstandings of where value is derived online, and are at best a plaster over the widening gyre of publishers’ revenue troubles) but here’s an interesting corollary point.

One of the key arguments of proponents of those schemes is that those payments will benefit smaller publishers who are in desperate need of revenue. I seriously doubt anyone genuinely believes those small publishers will be the main beneficiary of those schemes – but this study from the Tow Centre suggests they may even be hurt by them.

For one thing, as the report demonstrates, the sum paid to smaller publishers is dwarfed by the amount that’s going to the larger, more influential companies. C’est la vie. It’s still chicken feed to the platforms. But as the author Gabby Miller states, by pursuing direct payments for links to pay up, the industry may in fact be hastening the withdrawal of funds from those same platforms’ news initiative schemes – which will also disproportionately hit smaller publishers.

Politico nearly doubles size of London bureau

Politico’s had big ambitions for years now – I swear every time we talk about it on the podcast it’s announcing some new hire or new product. This article from Bron Maher examines how the politics-focused news and analysis site is growing its footprint in London, with plans to expand it still further.

Digital audio ad spend hits $221.2 million in Australia

The report found digital streaming attracted $138.7 million or 63% of spend, while podcasting accounted for $82.5 million or 37% of total digital audio spend. Overall, digital audio accounted for 4% of the total digital display market in Australia. As Peter said on this week’s episode, while overall digital ad spend growth is down, it is growing. And digital audio and podcasting are eating well.

Twitter Blue head (and many more) out at Twitter

As is probably clear from our discussion of the chaos at Twitter on this week’s podcast, there’s plenty of schadenfreude to be had from watching Musk make a hash of reinventing Twitter. But as a serious question – how are publishers and marketers supposed to be planning for the long-term on the platform when there is absolutely no continuity in terms of staff? This will be a brilliant cautionary tale in a few years’ time.

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