“Saving Journalism from Facebook’s Death Grip”? The Implications of Content-Recommendation Platforms on Publishers and Their Audiences

Yariv Ratner, Shira Dvir Gvirsman, Anat Ben David

פרסום מחקרי: פרסום בכתב עתמאמרביקורת עמיתים

תקציר

Previous research on the platformization of news has mostly been devoted to considering the effects of social media on the news industry. The current study focuses on Taboola and Outbrain, two leading content recommendation platforms. The companies form “partnerships” with news organizations, through which they take over a designated space on news websites and curate news, sponsored content, and advertisements, creating a blend that—the companies claim— maximizes monetization. We argue that the unique business model and distribution mechanism of these companies has a distinct effect on news sites, their audiences, and ultimately the journalism profession. An empirical analysis of 97,499 recommended content items, scraped from nine Israeli news sites, suggests that the spaces created by these partnerships blur the distinction between editorial and monetization logics. In addition, we find the creation of indirect network effects: while large media groups benefit from the circulation of sponsored content across their websites, smaller publishers pay Taboola and Outbrain as advertisers to drive traffic to their websites. Thus, even though these companies discursively position themselves as "gallants of the open web"—freeing publishers from the grip of walled-garden platforms—they de facto expose the news industry to the influence of the platform economy.
שפה מקוריתאנגלית אמריקאית
עמודים (מ-עד)1410-1431
מספר עמודים22
כתב עתDigital Journalism
כרך11
מספר גיליון8
מזהי עצם דיגיטלי (DOIs)
סטטוס פרסוםפורסם - 1 מרץ 2023

הערה ביבליוגרפית

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

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