Local television and radio stations work every day to bring Americans the news they need, whether it’s the daily traffic report, vital investigative journalism or breaking news during an emergency. Producing high quality, essential local journalism takes significant resources, and yet, advertising dollars that support local stations are shifting to technology platforms where misinformation and disinformation runs rampant.
While most big tech platforms depend on local news content, the broadcasters that provide it see at best a little more than half of the revenues from video ads on YouTube and Facebook. A recent BIA study estimated local broadcasters lose nearly $2 billion annually when their news and other local content appears in Google Search and Facebook News Feeds.
The individual ad revenues of each of the Tech Giants dwarf those of the entire broadcast industry.
Big tech companies’ ad revenues far outpace that of local broadcasters, which gives them little incentive to negotiate. Since these companies control the share of revenue they retain and the amount passed on to the content providers, ad dollars are taken away from stations that would reinvest them in serving the community.
Preserving quality, trusted local journalism will require policies that ensure broadcasters are fairly and justly compensated for their content; this is critical now more than ever as our country continues to combat COVID-19 and urge Americans to get vaccinated. Learn the full story and take action at nab.org/BigTech.