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The New York Times wants to go its own way on AI licensing

Expect the biggest media companies to use their market power to cut better deals with OpenAI and its peers.

There’s a lot to digest in this write-up from Joshua Benton about AI licensing. The majority of the article is focused upon the implications of huge media companies taking the lead when it comes to negotiating for compensation from AI companies. That will only become a more pressing issue as more AI tools get launched with the intention of being monetised.

“Large tech companies will pick and choose what publishers they want to negotiate with and how much they’re willing to hand over. The numbers will be secret, and they’ll be heavily weighted toward the biggest players.” Sound familiar? It should, it’s a repeat of the opaque and morally unsound approach to negotiating for payments that News Corp and its advocates took when bilking Facebook and Google for payments in the Australia news deal.

Benton’s point is that, unlike that deal, there actually is a solid reason why publishers should receive compensation when language models are trained on their content. But, just as with that deal, when the larger media companies take the lead in negotiation, that will leave the smaller publishers out in the cold. Again.


Targeting reach failed to deliver revenue for publishers (and what you should to do instead)

Fortune’s Chief Customer Officer discusses diversity, cross-functional teams, measuring what matters and focusing on engagement over growth.

Fortune’s always been an unusual entity in the world of publishers — but there’s lots in here that’s applicable to most media companies. Kev Anderson and James Kember distil some advice from Selma Stern, Fortune’s chief customer officer. Most importantly, “a focus on reach encouraged publishers to focus on casual audiences with minimal engagement with the brand or the business, leaving publishers with little revenue to show for these efforts”.


Bundled: Inside The New York Times’ revenue growth strategy

Press Gazette takes a look at how The New York Times is using a multi-product bundle to boost subscription revenue.

It’s all about the bundle, baby. A few newsletters ago we included the story about a German broadcaster-publisher going all-in on combining its properties into a superbundle to compete with Netflix. Now it looks as though The NYT is taking a similar tack by including all its various IP into multiple bundles. Not exactly shocking, but the continuation of a trend that we foresee continuing.


Why two esports journalists are combining their communities for a collective games media venture

Wolf and Klimentov’s plan — to build a news business around their individual communities and followings within the gaming sphere — is one that has been successful for some non-gaming media operations in recent years.

As I’ve been very bitter about mentioned in the past, a few years ago I pitched an esports title to a UK magazine publisher. Got to the development phase, too, before my point of contact there ghosted me. Not bitter. Anyway, this is an interesting attempt to bring a critical mass of esports fans together for a new competitive gaming journalism venture.

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