News Corp flashes teeth at Google with news-aggregation service

News Corp said it would not take a cut of ad revenue generated by articles from Knewz.com.

Smartphones: internet is most-used news platform for nearly two-thirds of UK adults
Smartphones: internet is most-used news platform for nearly two-thirds of UK adults

News Corp, owner of Fox News and The Times, is developing a news-aggregation service to rival Google News.

Knewz.com would act as an alternative to digital platforms that have been accused of not properly rewarding news publishers' work.

An official launch could come later this year, according to The Wall Street Journal, a News Corp-owned title.

Knewz.com would draw from hundreds of news sources, digital-native players and magazine publishers and link directly to their sites.

However, News Corp would not take a cut of the advertising revenue generated by the articles Knewz.com links to and it would aim to report original news reports rather than follow-up articles by other publications.

This would give more exposure to smaller outlets that tend to rank lower in Google’s search results and Facebook’s news feed, News Corp executives believe, due to the way the internet giants’ algorithms favour content based on popularity through link-sharing.

There have been complaints for years about Google and Facebook taking digital adspend from aggregating publisher content. Google has maintained that it creates value for the news sector by sending large volumes of traffic to publishers’ sites that they can then monetise.

In 2015, Google launched the Digital News Initiative and began to develop products such as Accelerated Mobile Pages in order to boost publishers' traffic.

Last year, Ofcom research showed that TV is the most-used platform for news by UK adults (79%), followed by the internet (64%), radio (44%) and newspapers (40%). However, the internet is the most popular platform among 16- to 24-year-olds (82%) and ethnic-minority groups (73%).

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