Are GAFA coming for the news business?

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Frederic Filloux has written a great break-down of why the much longed-for Spotify for News is a terrible idea. The short version is that (a) Spotify is a terrible, loss-making business and (b) the news business would be in a worse position.

But the closing paragraph is particularly chilling:

However, we will soon see these big players enter “soft,” relatively inconsequential segments of the news business, like entertainment, then probably lifestyle and, finally sports. I’m looking closely at how Apple News works, with its unique aesthetic and attention to detail, implemented by competent people. And I see the looming wave.”

I’d never really contemplated Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple getting into the news business. If you consider how easily some of that “aggregation” activities of the volume players could be simplified and cheapened by having algorithms do the rewrite not people, and then you think “hmm”.

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.