Hey Google, Play Me The News: CRA responds to Google Voice concerns

Commercial Radio Australia has responded to concerns voiced by News Corp boss Michael Miller over Google Voice and its plan for news.

In a recent article in The Australian, Miller warned the tech giant’s spoken news service could cripple the radio industry by luring away listeners and revenue.

Of particular concern was an apparent reluctance by Google to pay for content.

“Google intends to profit off the creativity and industry of journalists and media businesses without paying for the privilege.

“Where a company such as Google has incredible power, its approach is to take, not give back or share. That is hardly a role model for how business relationships should work.”

Joan Warner, CEO of Commercial Radio Australia is taking a cautious approach and she puts the threat into perspective.

“We have and will continue to collaborate with tech giants where there are positive opportunities to make it easier for audiences to access local radio content on multiple devices.

“The radio industry, like all the media, must navigate developments in the rapidly evolving area of voice AI. Global digital platforms don’t produce their own content, but they are fierce competitors with Australian media for advertising dollars.

“We strongly believe that content creators must profit from the content they create, so that revenue can go back into creating more live and local content. It’s vital that the review of digital platforms takes into account the new media landscape in areas such as copyright protection, transparency and fair competition.”

At this stage, the big media and entertainment companies have yet to embrace Google News and have instead focused energies on Amazon’s offering; Alexa.

Just last year, Southern Cross Austereo announced plans to push out Hit and Triple M programming (including news) on Alexa.

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Dynamic Duo
13 Feb 2019 - 6:51 pm

…SCA also offers news from both Hit and MMM on Google News too

Andy Grace
15 Feb 2019 - 10:40 am

Whoa, hang on there a minute!

So there’s absolutely no licensing fee whatsoever to be available on Google or Amazon’s network of connected audio speakers, taking advantage of the billions of lines of code developed at immense cost by the greatest minds of our generation?

And you’re getting the chance to monetise that free network by including advertising in content without even paying Google a commission? Wow, what an amazing deal.

Radio expectation of payment for the privilege of having content delivered through Google’s massive infrastructure worth hundreds of billions of dollars is never going to happen. The tech giants needed radio and TV to build their empires and we were delighted to take their dot.com dollars. Now we need them to prevent being drowned out by a cacophony of new media.

Personally, I think the idea of smart speakers – with display attached or not – is just creepy.

It won’t be long before people wise up to the fact a live microphone transcribing every word uttered at the network edge, then selectively transmitting them back to the mothership to be stored, analysed and monetised as part of an ultra-deep personality profile on every individual for eternity is unacceptable.


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