June 13, 2024


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In a significant move set to impact AI and mainstream media, OpenAI today announced its newest partnership with an outside media agency — News Corp., the famed company founded by billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch and which controls such outlets as The Wall Street Journal and major book publisher HarperCollins.

Yet HarperCollins will not be included in this deal. OpenAI specifically states in its blog post announcing the deal that it pertains to “current and archived content from News Corp’s major news and information publications…The partnership does not include access to content from any of News Corp’s other businesses.”

Worth a reported $250M over 5 years

The valuation of the deal wasn’t disclosed — presumably OpenAI is paying News Corp., as it has done with other publishers to the tune of reported $10 million+ a year. The Wall Street Journal itself reported today on the agreement stating the valuation “could be” close to $250 million over five years, or $50 million a year.

But one thing is clear: OpenAI will get access to news content from News Corp’s extensive portfolio, including years of archival articles and video footage, which it can use to better train its AI models such as GPT-4o and Sora, as well as surface content from The Wall Street Journal and other outlets as responses in ChatGPT.

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Other News Corp.-owned news titles include Barron’s, MarketWatch, Investor’s Business Daily, FN, and the New York Post.

Internationally, the agreement covers content from UK and Australian publications including The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun, The Australian, news.com.au, The Daily Telegraph, The Courier Mail, The Advertiser, and the Herald Sun.

Seemingly, it does not include HarperCollins nor Reatlor.com, a real estate listings site, which News Corp. also owns. It also does not pertain to Fox News, which was once a part of News Corp. but spun out from it into a separate company called Fox Corporation after News Corp.’s 20th Century Fox film and TV business was sold to Disney in 2019.

Nonetheless, there remains a vast repository of content from WSJ and other outlets that will significantly enrich OpenAI’s generative AI products, enabling ChatGPT to respond to user inquiries with verified, authoritative information and links back to the resulting news articles and video content.

Additionally, News Corp will lend its journalistic expertise to ensure that OpenAI’s content offerings adhere to the highest standards of journalism.

Even as it faces lawsuits from creators and other publishers including The New York Times, OpenAI has been inking deals with many mainstream media outlets. Among those already reached to train on and license content to inform answers in ChatGPT include agreements with:

Leadership perspectives

Robert Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp, expressed his enthusiasm about the partnership, highlighting the potential for setting new standards in the digital age.

“We believe an historic agreement will set new standards for veracity, for virtue and for value in the digital age,” Thomson said.

He emphasized the shared commitment to maintaining high journalistic standards and the significant social and commercial importance of this alliance. “This landmark accord is not an end, but the beginning of a beautiful friendship in which we are jointly committed to creating and delivering insight and integrity instantaneously.”

Echoing Thomson’s sentiments, Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, hailed the partnership as a milestone for both technology and journalism.

“Our partnership with News Corp is a proud moment for journalism and technology,” Altman said. “We greatly value News Corp’s history as a leader in reporting breaking news around the world, and are excited to enhance our users’ access to its high-quality reporting. Together, we are setting the foundation for a future where AI deeply respects, enhances, and upholds the standards of world-class journalism.”

Implications and future outlook

This strategic alliance underscores a mutual recognition of the transformative potential at the intersection of journalism and artificial intelligence. By integrating News Corp’s trusted journalism with OpenAI’s advanced AI capabilities, the partnership aims to provide users with a more informed and reliable digital experience. It also marks a proactive step towards addressing the challenges of misinformation and the erosion of journalistic standards in the digital era.

While the partnership grants OpenAI access to a vast array of News Corp’s news content, it specifically excludes content from News Corp’s other business sectors. This delineation ensures a focused collaboration aimed squarely at enhancing journalistic content and its dissemination through AI platforms.



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