Licensing News Content?

24Oct11

“The fundamental questions facing journalism are where the money is to come from, how it is to be spent, and whether it will be enough to cover the costs of gathering and disseminating quality information”  (Singer, p. 108).  The News Licensing Group may have answered this question.  A division of the Associated Press that deals with online news distribution started this group.  This group has taken up the tasked to track and monetized the news media it represents.  Importantly, they also will provide analytic data to the news creating firms in order to paint a more detailed demographic picture of their readership.

This new agency, NGL, is prepared to take advantage of the new content distribution economics.  It tracks the readership of news content and delivers information to the news providers in order to better match advertisers to content.  Greater knowledge of readership will presumably allow the 900 participating news firms to charge more for online advertising.  Additionally, NGL’s tracking technology will force news aggregating websites to pay for licensing of the content they present.

Parallels can be drawn between this and the wave of online sales of music.  By embracing the new distribution technology, perhaps now news organizations will profit.  Will the culture shift be as successful as iTunes?  What other implications come with licensing news stories?

-Charles Palys

Article source: http://www.citmedialaw.org/blog/2011/can-ap-apply-99-cent-song-business-model-news

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