Giants like Facebook siphon revenue from online media.
How can local newspapers offer us content “for free”? Their business model often relies on ad placements inside their ecosystem.
However, online ad spaces are mostly owned and controlled by Google or Facebook, companies which collect mountains of data on us through millions of websites, mostly without our knowledge. The companies present the viewer with targeted ads according to their profile—personal traits, social relationships, buying habits, browsing history, and more.
Betting on the “for free” model has only truly worked for the giants in near-monopoly power over the ad market. Meanwhile, smaller businesses who have come to depend on Facebook are left with a fraction of the benefits.
Newspapers have seen their revenue decrease significantly over the past decade. In Québec, some businesses even recorded negative profits. The massive drop in revenue has thus forced many companies into layoffs and threatened others from going bankrupt.