Google is expanding its tool for publishers to combat ad blocking.
"Funding Choices comes at a cost; publishers have to meet the Coalition for Better Ads’ Better Ads standards, which Google’s Chrome ad filter enforces and which some consider another way Google is dictating the rules of the web. Publishers also have to share the revenue with Google if they get readers to pay. Finally, few publishers are able to get people to pay for online access in the first place."
It should be noted that Google has (at least previously) paid two of the most popular ad blockers to have Google's ads whitelisted; effectively Google's revenue helps fund the development of ad blockers. Google then develops a tool for publishers to deal with adblocking...taking 10% (of monetised viewing) to do so.
While Google may be virtue signalling an intent to solve the ad blocking issue, it fully intends on capitalising on the revenue opportunity it represents.
This move (combined with their News Initiative to monetise new subs and GDPR requests to be 'controller') is aimed at making Google the gatekeeper to the content consumption experience for a large portion of the population.
Any other takes/perspectives?
The internet is predicated on the notion of it being free. But what if this predilection was found to be the root cause of most of our media and societal ails; filter bubbles, 'fake news', misinformation and the spread of conspiracy theories, privacy breaches et al.
Our technological and in some ways societal future depends on what happens next.
Jaron Lanier, a scientist, musician and writer is known for his work in virtual reality and his advocacy of humanism and sustainable economics in a digital context, and contends that when free digital systems and great tech entrepreneurs exploded there was a 'globally tragic, astoundingly ridiculous mistake, rather than a wave of evil where behaviour modification empires (we know them as social networks) sprouted and effectively 'broke' the internet'. He believes 'we simply just need to remake the decision'.
Lanier suggests, that born of this period (in the late 1990s) was a 'mythical power which produced two different passions; for making everything free and for the almost supernatural power of the tech entrepreneur. (But) How do you celebrate entrepreneurship when everything's free?' These two things are at odds with each other and this decision for predominantly 'free' has resulted in systems which modifies users' behaviour in the process of allowing them to seek information and communicate with others via the internet.
The only solution back then was the advertising model and just like users, the likes of Google and Facebook are hooked; unable to diversify from the proposition of cost centres to profit centres.
His most notable thought; "I don't think our species can survive unless we fix this. We cannot have a society in which if two people wish to communicate the only way that can happen is if it’s financed by a third person who wishes to manipulate them.”
Would/will users ever be able to be weaned from the 'free' model. Would we make a different decision if we knew back then? Would we being willing to remake the decision now?
A comprehensive and contextualised account can be read via New York Mag
Worth watching the TEDTalk in full.
Seven West Media will be the next FTA broadcaster for cricket ending Nine Entertainment Co. four-decade stranglehold on the sport. News Corp-controlled Foxtel will pay for the majority of the rights in a $1 billion deal which could see a large number of matches held back for pay-TV, including some Twenty-20.
Big Bash League’s media equity and brand accessibility is arguably only what it is thanks to Network Ten so a hard act for Seven to follow and a risk with many games exclusive to PayTV.
The numbers are right now for Cricket Australia but the impact will be in 3-5 years. A definite change in the landscape and an all-in on sport for Murdoch.
The Australia reports the deal as is understood to include Seven committing to estimated annual payments of $75 million or $450m over 6 years, with Foxtel stumping up $105m a season or $630m.
Read more detail here:
The Australian - Seven Network seizes cricket media rights from Nine, Ten in a partnership with Foxtel
SMH - Seven and Foxtel nab cricket broadcasting rights in $1 billion deal
There’s only one broadcaster winning the (long term) strategic game here.
For Nine this now isn’t a ‘must have’. Even the revised Nine Entertainment Co. & Network Ten offer $900m ($150m pa over 6 years) to keep cricket on FTA, would see Ten retain the Big Bash League while Nine would keep the Test matches...but importantly international Twenty20 & 50 over matches would switch from Nine to Ten.
Nine has already won the Australian Open Tennis Tournament & entering the Cricket negotiations with Ten means it shifts a significant portion of its cost base, freeing it up for more diversification & greater margins & still receive summer sport revenue.
Foxtel's aggressive bid estimated between $160 to $170 million per year for every game (or $800-850 million) may be viewed by Cricket Australia as a financial lifeline as SMH points out, but unless Foxtel & Seven West Media can deliver something (questionable & arguably detrimental to CA brand) like a knock out news lock out (Comm Games style), I’d question the long term strategy. Even if the bid wins, they ‘win’ the rights but inherit the largest cost base for a summer sport with no additional benefit for users and no significant audience gains for Cricket Australia. Right now, CA need an outcome which delivers improvement/stability for the brand. Taking cricket from FTA is a risk.
As News Corp play hard ball, Nine’s patience, holistic view of rights & willingness to collaborate should pay off here.
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