Weekly Buzz: Google to Remove Canadian News Content Due to New Controversial Law

Say hello to the Weekly Buzz – a new and improved version of the Weekly Download that you’ve all come to know (and love). 

We recently embarked on a rebranding journey for Spodek & Co., and decided our look could use some refreshing. The Weekly Buzz reflects our new branding elements – particularly the cute little bees you’ll find on our home page! – and is a nod to the ever-humming buzz of digital marketing.

So with that said, let’s see what all the buzz is about with a brand-new edition of weekly updates!

Google joins Meta to remove news links in Canada in response to online news law

Google is the latest platform to remove Canadian news content from its search, news, and discover products due to a new Canadian law called C-18. 

As we shared last week, this law aims to force tech giants to pay up for using news content from Canadian media outlets and publishers. But the giants are not happy about it. According to the platforms, C-18 is like a “link tax” and the repercussions could cause uncertainty for their businesses.

Both the Canadian government and bigger media outlets believe that social media companies should compensate news outlets for using their content. They argue that it’s about fairness and supporting journalism. But Google and Meta don’t agree. They say they don’t want to pay just for sharing links.

This whole situation stems from the recent struggles that news outlets have been facing. With advertising dollars shifting to digital platforms like Google and Facebook, many news outlets have shut down, and lots of journalism jobs have vanished. The new law is an attempt to level the playing field by making the tech giants pay up or be subject to a regulatory process.

The controversy surrounding Bill C-18

But not all journalists are thrilled about this law. Some smaller media outlets and experts worry that the big players will benefit the most from a possible payout, leaving them in the dust. Advocacy group OpenMedia is disappointed, saying that the law will make it even harder for Canadians to access the news they need.

It goes without saying that C-18 and the repercussions will seriously impact media outlets as they heavily rely on search providers like Google to get their content to readers. The way we look at it, the Canadian perspective on important news is at risk. It’s a clash between the Canadian government and the tech giants, with news outlets – and Canadians – caught in the middle. 

We’ll have to see how things play out and whether there’s a resolution that satisfies everyone.

Farewell, Stitcher: Popular podcast app to shut down

It’s the end of an era in the podcasting world. Stitcher, the beloved podcast app, is calling it quits. After over 15 years in the game, Stitcher will be shutting down on August 29.

Stitcher first entered the scene in 2008 as one of the pioneers in podcast-player platforms, quickly gaining popularity among podcast listeners. Along the way, it went through a series of acquisitions, with companies like Deezer, Midroll Media, and eventually SiriusXM snatching it up for a hefty $325 million in 2020.

In a heartfelt note on their website’s new “Stitcher Farewell” section, the team explained the reason for the shutdown. SiriusXM, its parent company, is shifting its focus towards integrating podcasts into its main SiriusXM subscription business. 

If you’re a Stitcher user, don’t fret! The company expects to keep the brand alive through its podcast production companies like Stitcher Studios and Earwolf networks. These production entities will continue to create shows for SiriusXM.

YouTube conducts experiment to curb ad blockers

YouTube is shaking things up with a new experiment aimed at curbing the use of ad blockers

A number of Reddit users have noticed warning signs popping up after watching three videos, urging them to disable the ad blocker or consider purchasing a YouTube Premium subscription. The message indicates that video playback will be blocked unless the ad blocker is disabled or YouTube is whitelisted.

Some users have even reported that YouTube has blocked access to videos, citing that ad blockers violate its Terms of Service. The company confirmed to TechCrunch that this warning sign is part of a global experiment. In “extreme cases,” if users continue to block ads, YouTube may temporarily disable video playback.

This isn’t the first time YouTube has conducted experiments to nudge users towards premium subscriptions. In the past, they tested asking users to purchase a paid plan for watching 4K videos and even tried displaying up to 11 unskippable ads before a video.

YouTube currently boasts over 80 million subscribers across its Music and Premium offerings. As the experiment unfolds, we’ll see how it influences users’ ad-blocking habits and their willingness to embrace YouTube Premium.

Developers left frustrated as Twitter’s paid API falls short

Twitter’s new paid API subscription plans, brought in by Elon Musk, are causing quite a headache for developers in the once-thriving world of third-party Twitter apps. 

It seems that developers who shelled out their hard-earned cash for API access are facing unexpected changes, annoying bugs, and zero customer support. Even those dishing out big bucks for the Enterprise API Plan are experiencing sudden outages and disappointing service. 

To make matters worse, Twitter pulled the rug out from under developers by yanking crucial API endpoints without proper warning. This left these developers scrambling to fix their apps and wondering if Twitter will keep making changes that break everything. 

As a result, many developers have decided to turn their backs on Twitter, seeking greener pastures for their app creations. Twitter’s transition from a vibrant third-party app hub to a paid model has left developers feeling frustrated and uncertain about the future of their businesses.

Will this be the beginning of another mass exodus at Twitter? Stay tuned.

Meta shares more insights on how Facebook and Instagram show content users will love

In the interest of transparency, Meta wants to give users a better understanding of how its algorithms work and how it uses AI to show content they’ll enjoy. 

And it’s not just helpful for users, but also for marketers who want to connect with their target audience. 

According to Meta, its AI systems predict how valuable a post is to a user based on things like previous engagement and the time the content was posted in addition to several other factors to get as close as possible to sharing the ‘right’ content. While Meta wants to be open, the platform is careful not to spill all the algorithm secrets to prevent people from gaming the system. 

Learn more directly from Meta here.

Friday Fun

Slidin’ into the long weekend like…

Line drawn peony from Spodek & Co Digital marketing site