The Journalism Competition and Protection Act – A Boon for CMOs?

United States Senator Amy Klobuchar (Democrat of Minnesota) questions a witness during the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights Hearing to examine the impact of consolidation on families and consumers, focusing on baby formula and beyond, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, June 15, 2022. Credit: Cliff Owen / CNP (Newscom TagID: dpaphotosfive842981.jpg) [Photo via Newscom]

A bill that would let most news outlets collectively negotiate with dominant tech platforms for compensation to distribute their content advanced out of a Senate committee Thursday, with Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) striking a deal. The Journalism Competition and Protection Act aims to help local and smaller news outlets negotiate by leveling the playing field with tech giants like Google and Facebook. But what does this mean for CMOs?

First and foremost, it’s important to note that the bill still has a long way to go before becoming law. That said, if it did become law, it would have implications for the way that news is distributed online – and that could have big implications for the way that CMOs allocate their budgets.

Right now, Google and Facebook dominate the online news landscape. According to a report from the News Media Alliance, Google accounted for 95% of all growth in digital advertising revenue in 2018, while Facebook accounted for 77%. This duopoly has had a devastating effect on the news industry, with many local newspapers shutting down due to lack of revenue. The Journalism Competition and Protection Act would change that by letting news outlets band together to negotiate collective deals with Google and Facebook.

If successful, this could lead to a major increase in revenue for news outlets – which would in turn lead to more money being funneled into advertising. That’s good news for CMOs who are looking for places to allocate their budgets. It’s also good news for the news industry as a whole, which has been struggling in recent years.

Of course, there are potential downsides to the bill as well. For one thing, it’s not clear how effective it would be in practice. Google and Facebook are both immensely powerful companies, and it’s not clear that news outlets would be able to get them to agree to terms that are favorable. Additionally, the bill could lead to higher prices for consumers if Google and Facebook pass on the costs of negotiating these deals to users.

The proposed Journalism Competition and Protection Act has the potential to shake up the online news landscape – but it’s still too early to say whether or not it will be successful. If it does become law, it could have big implications for CMOs who will need to decide where to allocate their budgets.

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