Around the world, Facebook successor Meta is making it clear it wants out of paying for publishers’ content… and it’s not waiting to be asked.
In the US, Axios reported that Meta has started telling news partners that it would no longer paying for content used in its NewsTab, while Meta was conspicuous by its absence from meetings with the Australian treasury department, which has been charged with policing compliance in that country.
Australia introduced world-leading legislation requiring tech companies to negotiate payments, and setting a framework for compliance. As a result, media companies received millions of dollars for the use of their content last year.
But when treasury held meetings in Sydney this month to discuss the follow-on, Google was represented “and happy to talk” about deals signed with 82 publishers, no representatives from Facebook were in sight.
News from the US that Facebook did not plan to renew contracts has sparked concerns over what happens when Australian deals expire in up to two years' time.
Axios Media Trends and the Wall Street Journal reported that Meta vice president of media partnerships Campbell Brown had said that the company was “shifting resources away from its news products to support more creative initiatives”.
With sweeping changes to the Facebook experience, “news has become less of a priority,” it reported. The US deals were worth an estimated US$105 million.
Axios was told by a spokesperson that much has changed since deals three years ago as a test of bringing additional news links to Facebook News. “Most people do not come to Facebook for news, and as a business it doesn't make sense to over-invest in areas that don't align with user preferences," a spokesperson said.
Pictured: The tech giant’s ‘Meta for business’ branding