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Google to Block all Links to Canadian News

This decision by Google comes shortly after Meta made a similar announcement, pledging to blackout Canadian publishers on Facebook and Instagram and criticizing the law as “fundamentally flawed.”

Maddy Troy

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Google announced on Thursday that it would block all links to Canadian news articles. This is in response to a new law in Canada that mandates tech companies to compensate publishers for content.

According to NPR, Google executive Kent Walker stated in a blog post, “We have now informed the government that when the law takes effect, we, unfortunately, will have to remove links to Canadian news from our Search, News, and Discover products in Canada.”

This decision by Google comes shortly after Meta made a similar announcement, pledging to blackout Canadian publishers on Facebook and Instagram and criticizing the law as “fundamentally flawed.”

The clash between the tech giants and the Canadian government centers around the legislation that would require them to negotiate compensation agreements with news organizations for sharing links to news stories.

Although the Online News Act was passed last week, it may take several months to be enforced. Once in effect, both Google and Meta have confirmed that they will begin removing news articles from Canadian news outlets on their platforms within the country.

Supporters of the legislation argue that it could provide much-needed support to the struggling news industry, which has faced significant challenges due to the dominance of Silicon Valley in digital advertising. According to Canadian government data, over 450 news outlets in the country have closed since 2008.

In April, proponents of the bill wrote, “Digital platforms and social media are now the gateways where people find, read, and share news. Because of this, advertising revenues have shifted away from local news and journalists to these gatekeepers, who profit from the sharing and distribution of Canadian news content.”

Both Google and Meta have long opposed the Canadian law, arguing that they already assist news organizations by driving web traffic to their sites. News articles represent a small portion of content on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, comprising approximately 3% of what users see daily on Facebook.

Google also does not consider news articles essential to its service. Therefore, the companies have opted to block links to news articles rather than initiate direct payments to news organizations.

While most prominent publishers in Canada support the new law, media observers outside the industry have expressed reservations. Tech writer Casey Newton has warned that taxing the display of links could potentially “break the internet” if applied more broadly.

Critics have also raised concerns about the lack of transparency regarding which entities would receive financial support from tech companies, with fears that disinformation sites could exploit the system.

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Media Business

SPECai Welcomes Adams Radio Group and Southern Stoen Communications as New Customers

The two radio companies join other broadcasters like Connoisseur Media, Summit Media, and Magnum Communications at adopting the product.

Barrett News Media

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A photo of the SpecAI logo

SPECai, the artificial intelligence product created in conjunction with ENCO Systems, Benztown, and Compass Media Networks, has inked a deal with Adams Radio Group and Southern Stone Communications to use the technology.

Southern Stone Communications will utilize the product in Jackson, TN; Valdosta, GA; Daytona Beach, FL; and Huntsville, AL. Meanwhile, Adams Radio Group will utilize it at stations in Tallahassee, FL; Las Cruces, NM; Valparaiso, IN; and Ft. Wayne, IN.

“SPECai is absolutely transformative. I was amazed by the blend of technology and creativity. Within minutes, our sellers are able to create top-notch spec spots,” said Adams Radio Group Northern Indiana Vice President and Market Manager Jennifer Figg. “The interface is easy and intuitive, saving us time and making the production process more efficient. Each spot is crafted with a professional touch. We only just started and have already closed new business.”

“I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly our sellers could create a great sounding commercial, with no help from production, and use it to help close new business,” added Southern Stone Communications Vice President of Sales and General Manager Chip Thomas. “I would highly recommend this product for any sales team looking for creative ways to close more business.”

The two radio companies join other broadcasters like Connoisseur Media, Summit Media, and Magnum Communications in adopting the product.

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Media Business

Women Prefer AM/FM Radio to Everything But Their Phone, New Study Shows

Traditional radio eclipsed Amazon (43%), Netflix (40%), Apple (26%), Spotify (26%) and TikTok (24%) among other strong digital audio and video brands.

Barrett News Media

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A photo of an on-air light

As more and more listeners spend time with digital audio, the role of AM/FM Radio is questioned. However, according to a new study, the medium is still a strong one, especially with women.

New metrics released by Westwood One’s Audio Active Group shows that a study of 1001 women between 15-64 shows that 46% said they “love” their favorite AM/FM Radio station. While 51% said they “love” their mobile phone as the top vote-getter, terrestrial radio came in second.

Traditional radio eclipsed Amazon (43%), Netflix (40%), Apple (26%), Spotify (26%) and TikTok (24%) among other strong digital audio and video brands. Radio, however, dropped to 22% when respondents were asked about their love of the medium in general and not their favorite specific stations.

While the study shows women “love” radio, they admitted in their responses that the medium doesn’t often mesh with the busy lifestyle they currently live between family, relationships, and living a healthy lifestyle.

Also, nearly 60% of women agreed that “Today’s music is not as good as it was years ago.” Another factor of decreased listening is that women find the number of commercials unbearable and believe many ads are “annoying.”

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Media Business

Nielsen Debuts The Media Distributor Gauge Showing TV Audience By Company

In the first report of the new gauge, 14 companies saw a 1.0% share or great of the total TV usage.

Barrett News Media

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Nielsen has unveiled The Media Distributor Gauge, which will provide information on television audience size on a per-company basis. 

The new measurement category became a necessity as streaming television continues to grow with many broadcast and cable networks utilizing the new technology as an alternate distribution method.

Coinciding with The Gauge, which measures the method by which viewers watch television, The Media Distributor Gauge is the insight into measuring an expanding and changing field.

“With more programs available across platforms, it’s vital for creators, advertisers, and the industry at large to understand what and where audiences are watching,” said Karthik Rao, CEO of Nielsen. “The Media Distributor Gauge is a perfect complement to The Gauge and serves as the first convergent TV comparison of its kind. Together, these reports paint the most complete picture of TV viewing today, which is critical as we head into the Upfront.”

In the first report of the new gauge, 14 companies saw a 1.0% share or great of the total TV usage.

The Walt Disney Company accounted for 11.5% of TV, as 42% of that figure came from Disney+ and Hulu.

YouTube (9.6%), NBCUniversal (8.9%), Paramount (8.8%), Warner Bros. Discovery (8.1%), Netflix (7.6%), and FOX (6.1%) all finished between 5-10% of the total viewing share.

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